Soul Food

Melody Lipford, Columnist •


Melody Lipford

Beyond volunteering at an official service site, I believe it is just as important to be of service to those in our daily life. Whether these are strangers or best friends or family members, there is always someone who can use a helping hand. Sometimes the best service is not when we’re expected or asked to do something, but when we do it because we recognize the need or have the conviction to help that person or situation.

I feel purpose when I volunteer or just go out of my way to help those around me. In a way, volunteering has trained me or has increased my awareness of those around me who may need help. Service has challenged me to step outside myself, my comfort zone, and to make the main mission at hand, the person’s needs in front of me.

I’ve been able to serve those of all ages and backgrounds, from preschool age to the elderly. In all the ages I’ve worked with, I have found the same theme repeated throughout my service. At the end of the day, people just want to feel loved, valued, and accepted. In all honesty, it doesn’t take much to help people feel this way. Most people I’ve served want nothing more than someone to listen to them, have a conversation, or a moment of your time to help with a small task.

Not to mention, people usually respond with such gratitude for something simple as this. To me, this only reinforces our society’s overall need for more empathy and service in our communities. There are so many people who would appreciate your time and who need it. As humans, it is our job to take care of one another, regardless of beliefs, age, race, and backgrounds… we are all human.

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