I believe change happens one step at a time. All throughout my life I have tried my best to give back to those less fortunate than myself may that be volunteering, severing, or campaigning for an organization. Every since I was little I have had a easy life, always given more than I needed and raised by parents who would do anything for me. However taking notices to how blessed I was, made me realize how much I could give to those who have less. Therefore I spent a lot of my time volunteering at homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, serving on mission trips and campaigning to raise money for organizations such as Invisible Children and water projects for Kenya. While with each of these projects I was only able to make a small dent into the lives I served I feel the impact was huge; as the world’s problems only get solved with baby steps. Not one person can change the whole world, but I believe people working for the good of others in small things makes a huge difference. Each time I volunteered at one of these places the people were brightened by my positive spirit and thankful for my help with any tasks. These jobs included organizing health kits in the hospital, playing bingo with the old folks, sorting food cans in a homeless shelter, and raising money for organizations at a carwashes and fundraisers. To some these tasks seem tiny but to people in need these tasks mean a lot.
Some places that need volunteers in Columbia, MO include:
- Coyote Hill
In 2007 I went on trip with World Changers to Puerto Rico and myself and a group of 15 other people built a whole house in one week for a family who had lost there home. This instance had to be one of the most impactful experiences I was able participate in as I watched life come back to this family and their community. Each family member was so thankful for the work we had done; and shared with us how they wanted to help others in their community by opening this home to the homeless.
Trips like mine to Puerto Rico take place all throughout the year in Columbia, MO and cities all across the USA. Some programs include:
- World Changers
- Mission Trips
While my missions trip and volunteering did not change the globe, I know from my direct contact with the people I served it made a difference. To me each of these scenarios is a “pay it forward” deal. When I made health baskets at the hospital or sorted food at the food bank others watched and either were given the urge to help out too or will tell others about my service, which encourages them to serve. While in the nursing home the people I served might not be able to help in the future, these folks have possibly already served or the employees at the nursing home see the impact we are making and feel compelled to do the same. When one decides to help those around them it encourages others to help as well as the person you served to help. This “serving” can become an on going cycle and with one person serving at a time it can impact many. Therefore I hope to have affected those people who I served so now they will serve in their own ways. I have seen the affect of others “paying it forward” and I hope that my affection to those in need only further benefited the cause of service to the world. The world’s problems can only be solved with others help and one step at a time we can make a huge impact.
Throughout the Internet there is numerous articles talking about changing the world, volunteering and mission trips. Some of the ones I found most impactful include:
- Mission Trips Expensive but Priceless: http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20130413/FEAT04/304130008/Mission-trips-expensive-priceless
- Metro East Church Continues Mission Trips to Haiti: http://fox2now.com/2013/04/06/metro-east-church-continues-mission-trips-to-haiti/
- Get Involved By Volunteering: http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/mailbag/letters-to-the-editor/get-involved-by-volunteering/article_94f5c5bc-3e3e-5b3c-89a7-e01ada1cd1b6.html
- World Impact Week: http://www.henryherald.com/news/2013/apr/13/elca-concludes-annual-world-impact-week/