Years ago there as a young couple who recently got married. They were both college students beginning to make a life together. Like most young recently married couples they were striving to make a living together. Being college students their income was not much but with great budgeting they were able to sustain themselves. However, in some cases their money ran so low when literally every penny counted. This was the case one particular fall day. They happen to be driving down the road when the husband saw a man walking down the street when he and his wife were headed home. It was apparent the man walking down the street was struggling in more ways than one. Just like the scenes in a Mark Twain novel the man walking down the street was carrying a stick over his shoulders that had a bundle tied at the end. At the stop light the husband rolled down the car window and motioned to the man and gave him the couples last ten dollars. When the man walking down the streets received the money he made much gestures of gratitude. When the wife saw what her husband was doing she questioned him and asked if he knew that was the last of their money. He said he did. That day the husband shared with his wife an example that stuck with her the rest of her life that she then passed on to her children. The lesson was that no matter how much we may think we made need help in this life there is always someone out there regardless the circumstances that may have gotten them there, there’s someone who needs more help then you. This young couple was my parents.
In numerous other accounts they taught my sisters and I the importance of community service. Sure the story I shared was an instance where it was a monetary service however that is definitely not the only way to help someone. Most often community service is by action. I love that with Ogallala Commons there is a chance to participate in community service. This year I was able to help in various ways relating what my internship was focused on regarding food and public health.
The first part of my hours were spent shopping and preparing a healthy meal introducing new ideas for food preparation. The next hours which was probably the most enjoyable part of my community service was helping out at the Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico. The particular day I went I got to help out with preparing cereal bags that would be received throughout New Mexico. The best part of helping out at the food bank was meeting new people who were there. I was paired up to work with this man who inspired me to search for more community service opportunities no matter how busy I think I am. After the hours we worked and talked at the food bank we learned so much from each other. I found out that he had taken leave from work to come help out at the food bank and that he was striving to help out there 50 hours before the end of the year. If he volunteered 50 hours his company that he worked for would donate 750 dollars to the charity of his choice and he had chosen the food bank. He said that he enjoyed helping out at the food bank so much that he wanted to bring his kids the next time he came so they could be reminded that there are people out there that need their help and that would benefit them more than going to any theme park on summer vacation. The last part of my service hours was going to participate in meeting for the Bernalillo County community that was aimed at brainstorming and discussing ways to creating a safety net for all people in the county to have access to health care particularly focusing on those people experiencing homelessness. The particular meeting I went to was one of several but the one I attended was focused on the Native population needs.
Participating in this year’s community service hours I’m thankful to be reminded of the lesson my mom shared with us that I shared regarding her experience. Truly it is a great thing to be found in the service of others to remind us how blessed we are in our individual lives.