Posted by K. Albers
 
"Service above Self" Essay
 
Over the years I have done a variety of volunteer work in my community. It has taught me to give back to the community that I live in. I have been doing community service more and more as I get older and it really makes me realize how much of an impact I can make on my community and how much others appreciate it. There are so many reasons why volunteering is so important. I have learned that volunteering can be just as rewarding for me as for those I am helping. Volunteering has made me a better person. It has broadened my views on how others have struggles that I don't see in my daily life and how I can make a difference for others.
 
Between March of 2020 and January of 2021 was a busy time of volunteering for me. Despite the times of Covid and volunteers being limited, there was still so much that could be done. With these times being so uncertain I really felt the need to give back to my community. I am involved in 4-H which has a ton of volunteer opportunities. My 4-H ambassador group organizes an annual county wide Easter egg hunt and because of Covid in April of 2020 we were unable to have one. Instead of having an Easter egg hunt, I stuffed eggs and put them in bags and donated them to grocery stores for parents to come and pick up so they could have an Easter egg hunt at home. Also due to Covid, residents in nursing homes were very lonely due to restrictions of visitors. Because of that I knew I needed to do something to try and make them feel like they were not forgotten.
 
A few of the things I did include visiting residents through their windows, making ornaments and homemade thanksgiving and Christmas cards. Specifically at the Faribault Senior living my 4-H club bought pajamas and lotion for the residents in the memory care unit. I was informed that many of them did not have pajamas or good lotion, so I felt it was necessary to provide them with items they needed. I believe that it is our responsibility as a community to protect the environment. Therefore, my 4-H club has adopted a highway that we clean up every fall and spring. During the Christmas season there are always families that are in extra need for things. Because of that I volunteered to bell ring for the Salvation Army to help raise money for those families in need. Finally, I like to volunteer at the food shelf. The food shelf is always in need of help making sure the community has a place to go when they can't afford food for their families.
 
With these volunteer opportunities I have worked with a variety of cultures which has made me a more well-rounded person and the fact that I feel good knowing that I am helping my community. I have found that if I were to put myself in some of these situations, I would appreciate the work volunteers do to try and help. Volunteers are so imp01iant and without them a lot of resources would not be available for people to use because some organizations are run solely on volunteers.