I have two regular volunteer jobs that I used to complete my community service hours. The first is at my church. Every Sunday, I go early to help set up all the technical stuff needed for the service such as song lyrics, announcements, and sermon slides. Throughout the service, I make sure that every technical aspect runs as smoothly as possible. However, “smooth” is rarely how service goes. It could be as small as a maladjusted volume slider or as big as playing a video on mute, much to my embarrassment. But it always works out and the congregation is very forgiving. Though they are scared that I’m leaving this fall and no one else knows how to run the system. I’ll have some training to do this summer!
The second year-round volunteer job I have is at Blue Rose Ranch, a horse rescue and adoption near town. I’ve been a volunteer here for about six years and for the past two have served as the Youth Director of Horse Operations. It’s a long title, but all it means is that I’m in charge when the owners aren’t around. I also lead the weekly youth riding sessions where we teach kids the basics of horseback riding. When the kids get good enough, they are put in the advanced group to learn higher-level skills. For the annual horse camp, we teach riding, grooming, and groundwork. It’s a huge time commitment but it’s worth it to see the next generation grow up and prepare for their own leadership positions.
Over the past few months, I’ve also engaged in other service activities through the FOR Club at my school. I was in charge of organizing and executing a school-wide food drive. Working with other FOR Club and school leaders, we raised 414 items for the county food bank. Then my co-president and I spent a few hours sorting it and taking it to the food bank.
There’s something special about giving your time without expecting anything in return-cliche but true. I didn’t always realize what it was exactly, but the more time I commit and the more people I interact with, the more tangible that feeling becomes. Because I know that feeling so well, it makes me happy that OC has a required 10 hours of community service so that maybe someone else can discover that special joy as well.