Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Whose live are we really changing by volunteering?

Name: Gabi Latimer
From: Cullowhee , North Carolina
Grade: high school senior
School: Western Carolina University
Votes: 0

involved in the community through acts of service, relationship, and
mentorship is something that I personally credit to who I am today.
The Community Table was an opportunity I was eager to get involved in
when I started college. In this opportunity, I wasn’t interacting
with little kids, but adults and families that truly didn’t know when
they were going to have their next meal. Once I got there, I realized
that all of these people had stories and friends that they came to
see every week. They enjoyed each others company, and all they needed
or more so wanted from me was a conversation. I talked to each person
I served food to; I made sure that they knew they were welcome and
that I would be back to see them again. I learned that I don’t have
to do a big deed to impact someone and I may not change someone’s
life, but I can be open for someone to change mine.

volunteer experiences continue to change the way I look at
leadership, relationships, and myself every time I put myself out
there. Volunteering is not for your own glory, but for the glory of
others. Someone I know once said, that the godliest thing that a
human can do is take delight in being unnoticed and unappreciated in
the pursuit of making someone else’s day. That statement goes against
what our society has shaped us to live like, but it is how we should
approach experiences like the ones above. Volunteering in someone’s
life, it is not for us, it’s for them, and it is not us changing
their world, they are expanding and adding life to ours. It goes both
ways if we let it. The Community Table was the door I had been
looking for when I came to college, and I got so much more than I was
searching for. I have made friends from all around the community and
within the college that know me by name and are changing the way I
look at myself and the world around me. Whether the individuals at
the Community Table meant to or not, they have put my life on a path
that I would not have reached without them. It was people like those
at the Community Table that are the life changers in our world. Maybe
in small ways, but it doesn’t take much to make a wave. The volunteer
experience I had at the Community Table was a Godly reminder in my
new home that to be the person that I desire to be, I have to be open
to experiences that I have never encountered before. To be expectant
of the impact the Lord can make in any situations and not use it to
try and change others life, but be open to it changing mine.

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