Community Service Doesn't Just Help Others, It Changes You Too

Community Service Changed the Way I See Myself

Who knew helping others could make you feel so good about yourself?

My Phone

I know it might sound a little corny or maybe even a little self-centered, but I truly never knew how good community service can make you feel. I always felt like community service was one of those things people did just as a publicity stunt, you know? Something to boost their ego or make themselves look good in the eyes of the public. At least, that is how it seems nowadays.

We live in a society where everybody wants clicks, likes, and shares on their posts showing off the volunteering they're doing, with captions like "Check out me helping this old lady across the street" or "Look at me help feed these homeless people at the homeless shelter."

We do things because we want to be applauded for them and want recognition for the things we do, even when we claim to be doing it out of the goodness of our hearts.

Because of that, I stayed away from community service. Wrongfully, I might add, but the logic was that I did not want to get sucked into this idea that I need to help others and then show the world that I did it, waiting for all the likes and "great job" comments to add up on Instagram.

But then last weekend happened.

My college has a big annual community service event called "The Big Event," which was last weekend. It's an event coordinated by Towson University for all student organizations to go out and help locals near the university, spruce up the neighborhood, pick up trash, and more.

Now although this was required for student organizations, I participated voluntarily because this is my fraternity chapter, Delta Sigma Phi's, first year on campus. We all participated, thinking "Well, it is going to be required next year, so we might as well see what it is like."

As it turned out, a small experience changed the way I viewed myself.

As a part of community service, we had to help an elderly lady named Mrs. Beth with mulching her plants and garden areas around the yard. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong.

We had to lift bags of mulch that were at least 10 pounds apiece, spreading said mulch across her soil and evening it out so that it still kept her yard looking good. After hours and hours of mulching and raking, it seemed like we were going to be there forever.

We sort of were there forever, but I had never had so much fun doing manual labor like that.

We were out there listening to Boys To Men, which shocked me when we all agreed to listen to it. All the wisecracking also helped the time pass by. My friend Kyle kept telling us "It ain't much, but it's honest work." And honest work it was.

I really felt like I was a part of something. Like I was really meant to do something with my life.

Now I know that can sound really deep, especially coming from a story about mulching. But it is not about the mulching at all. It is about how we helped Mrs. Beth out, saved her time and energy, all while making an impression on people we pass by every day.

After we finished, she told us, "I really appreciate you guys. Without you guys, this would have taken me at least a couple of weekends."

We banded together and helped someone turn almost a month's worth a work into a one-day operation.

That was huge to me, and it really touched me in regards to my self-esteem. It showed me that just one little action I do can have such an impact on someone else's life. It honestly was one of the most enlightening experiences I have ever had.

So the next time you see a flyer to go help out at a soup kitchen or something where you can help someone else, take the opportunity. You will see just how much helping someone else can improve your outlook on yourself. It will be a worthwhile experience. I know it was for me.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments