Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteerism – Happiness in Giving

Name: Charbel Ghantous
From: Mountain View, California
Grade: 12
School: Saint Francis High School
Votes: 0

My parents and my teachers have served me in various ways. I grew up
learning that my life would be more valuable when sharing my time and
talents with others. Service always has a great impact on the giver
and the receiver. Throughout my school years, I worked with disabled
children, elderly, poor and homeless people. During Easter break in
my sophomore year, I went on a mission trip to Nicaragua for a week
and I experienced real poverty; however, the natives expressed their
enthusiasm for us through their smile and hugs. Also, during this
summer, while visiting my native country Lebanon, I went on a ten day
mission camp where we helped the elderly and handicapped. I saw how
lonely these people were, but every time I raised their spirits by
visiting and serving them. I had a great time listening to these
people’s life stories and they really enjoyed having someone to
communicate with and talk to. Also throughout my four years in High
School I have volunteered at elderly care homes, with children at
elementary and middle schools, at soup kitchens, and the
developmentally disabled. My biggest challenge on all volunteering
opportunities is to be able to get some kind of personal relationship
with the people I am helping. These people are strangers and I know
nothing about them and they know nothing about me ,it’s always hard
to start a conversation with a stranger but when it happens, it goes
a long way. All these years, meeting these different people in
different stages of their lives and different life situations, there
was one thing in common: they all loved someone’s company which
brought joy to them. The handicapped and elderly who wanted to share
with me their life story, the poor and homeless who would smile and
say “Thank You” after every time I served them. Serving
these people and seeing their smiles and energy really made me
realize that service does not have to be something grand, even
seemingly small actions of goodness can bring joy to anyone.

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