Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteering Near and Far

Name: Jordan E Moore
From: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Grade: 12
School: Ocean Lakes High School
Votes: 0

Volunteering Near and Far

During my mission trip to
Haiti, I had the opportunity to really focus on an area of service
that I’m interested in, community education. The team’s
objective was helping by educating the community. This was done so
the people would become less reliant on outside help, and be able to
support themselves. It was vital that the communities understood
farming techniques and how to properly raise livestock. Education
was the first step to fixing the problem. If you can get the people
to work for themselves, and understand how to fix problems on their
own, then they can successfully run their communities without
interference. As the saying goes, “Teach a man to fish and you
feed him for a lifetime”. Community education was a form of
service that I want to continue focusing on because it helps plant a
seed to solve a larger issue. From meeting the local people, and
children in a local orphanage, I learned how insignificant material
things are. I learned the importance of human interaction. I spent
time to get to know people that live differently than I did, which
widened my perspective and made me more aware and thankful for the
daily blessings I have.

On a small local scale of
service, my late neighbor, suffered a stroke that permanently
disabled him. As a result, he was unable to walk his dog, a young
and very hyper golden retriever. I volunteered, and spent the next
three years walking his dog. Doing this a few days a week was a
really great experience. When I first started, it didn’t seem like
I was doing much to help, all I was doing was playing with and
walking his dog. Sometimes, I found it challenging to go out in the
cold or rain because I’d rather to stay inside. However, I began
to realize that I was forming relationships with my neighbor, his
wife, his adult children, the home nurses, and the hospice nurses.
For me, I learned that I don’t have to travel far to help someone.
Sometimes all that is needed is lending a hand to a neighbor, and
sacrificing time.

I love to be in service.
Thanks to my energetic and supportive Youth Group, I have had the
opportunity to join many different mission teams, ranging from local
community work to Haiti. In total, I spend about 150 hours
volunteering in a year. I enjoy the gratification and joy that comes
with service; knowing that I have helped someone else. The smile
from a women in a soup kitchen, a genuine “thank you” from a
struggling family, a “mèsi” from an 80 year old man in Haiti, a
short conversation with my ailing neighbor: these are things that
make me feel good. It’s important to be kind and compassionate and
I never want to turn from the people who need help or encouragement.

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