Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – From giving Service to Service giving back

Name: Sean Riley
From: Hamburg, New York
Grade: 12
School: St. Francis high school
Votes: 15


Forward Scholarship

Being a volunteer is needed for a community to get off its feet after a disaster. This is why I volunteered to help the homeless, and flood victims. I chose to volunteer in this area because, this group of people needs volunteers to help them off their feet. The satisfaction of helping them and the grace of those in need also inspired me to help the homeless, and flood victims. Being a volunteer has not only helped those in need but, has also helped develop me as a better person myself.

As a volunteer I have spent around 75 hours working on helping those in need. Some responsibilities I held were, collecting food for a soup kitchen, making salad at a soup kitchen, handing out drinks at a soup kitchen, cleaning up houses after a flooding, cleaning a church yard, gardening, and fixing a fence. The biggest challenge in these scenarios was being able to socialize with all these people that lost everything or had nothing. Although they had nothing they had more grace than most people, and were the most humble people to socialize and get along with. Being thanked for the work I have done for the homeless and flood victims has given me the most satisfaction. The people that you worked for think that they get the most out of what you did for them but that’s never what it feels like. After a long hard day I feel like I had been given something even though the people I had Given to others. I always feel like I get more out of it than those I worked for, after being thanked and seeing the grace and humbleness of those I served. What I have learned from my volunteer experience is that it does not matter how much a person owns to be happy. The most humble people I have ever met, or worked for had
nothing or close to nothing. It was amazing how generous the homeless and poor could be since they had almost nothing to give. This has taught to be even more generous myself and take advantage of the opportunities I’m given because those who have nothing are sometimes doing more than those who have everything.

For me, I see my volunteer work shaping my entire life. I realize the amount of work that needs to be done and those that need help. Volunteer work is needed to help those in need. To me “forward looking” means, what will I be able to change in the future through my volunteer work. I see people getting off there feet and helping those in the position they were once in through my volunteer work. In years to come I do believe my activity will make a difference. The communities, people, and places that were struggling will be back up on there feet. When people volunteer in one area, for extended time,that area is prone to become a stronger community.

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