I approached this outreach through community service with many different volunteering ideas. There are so many opportunities in every community. I really don’t think that most people realize it. All it takes is a little digging, or sometimes walking out your front door.
I ended up volunteering in two different places. The first place I volunteered was one of the Farmers’ Market in Plainview Texas. I was able to help set-up/take down the stand and assist in selling vegetables. Throughout the day, I was able to help with the stand and talk to the many people that came to the stand. It was exciting to not only be able to serve Mr. and Mrs. Todd, but also to serve people in the community that came to the Farmers’ Market. One of the most rewarding things that I received from serving these people was the smile on their faces at the end of the day. I have helped with my family’s own Farmers’ Market stand before, and I know how much work it takes to be able to be successful. I chose this opportunity for community service because it is something that is very familiar to me and it is based on one of my passions, agriculture.
The second place that I volunteered was the Salvation Army. The location that I volunteered at is 615 Broadway St, Plainview, TX 79072. I have heard of the Salvation Army before, but I did not know their exact purpose and goal. The main reason I chose the Salvation Army was because I have never volunteered with them before, and when I went to talk to them they were very happy to have any type of volunteer service. The Salvation Army was founded with the mission to bring salvation to the poor, destitute, and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs. It was rewarding to be able to volunteer with an organization who graciously accepts any volunteers and uses their efforts to serve others. It is like service that keeps on serving. At the Salvation Army thrift store, I sorted through many donations. There were a wide variety of items donated that had to be sorted through. The items that are able to be used are then used in the thrift store. The first time I saw the amount of donations at the back of the store where I was told I would be working, I was reminded of the television series “Hoarders”. I do not mean this in a bad way by any means. I was amazed by how many donations there were in the back. There was not even much of a pathway through the back of the store when I first started the challenge of sorting through things. When me and a few other volunteers finished, there was much more organization and room to move around the building. The Salvation Army staff was very pleased! I also really enjoyed getting to know more about some of the people that work at the Salvation Army and some of the volunteers. I think that they are a great example of people who advocate and support serving others.
Through these experiences, I have been able to strengthen my understanding, need, and reward of community service. I enjoyed every minute of it. I feel like there are so many opportunities to serve in this great community, but I will be leaving Plainview after my internship to go back to West Texas A&M University in Canyon Texas. This summer has encouraged me to look for opportunities to serve when I return to college this fall. It takes time and effort, but there are many opportunities. I am looking forward to the challenge to serve!