Each month, our local Rotary Club honors an eighth grade Student of the Month recipient from each of the town’s local grade schools. In addition to listing academic and extra-curricular achievements and accomplishments, students who apply must explain how they exhibit “Service Before Self”. What a beautiful concept ~ service before self.
Most of the students describe how they serve at their local churches, volunteer at nursing homes, and participate in fundraisers or service projects to benefit those less fortunate. For students, it is easy to participate in clothing or food drives. Many schools facilitate fundraisers throughout the school year to promote friendly service-driven competitions among homerooms or grade levels. In addition to helping others, they might also have the opportunity to earn class parties or prizes.
As adults, however, do we have the same accessibility to services in need? Most definitely. And although making donations may not earn us a pizza party in the end, the benefits of our gifts to others are far reaching. We model charity and selflessness for our children, we assist those less-fortunate, and I firmly believe that the kindness and beauty that we put out into the world will boomerang back to us, someday.
Below is a list of ways that we can practice “Service Before Self” in our adult lives.
Join a service organization ~ Many service organizations exist in large cities and small towns. The Rotary Club, Kiwanas, The Junior League, and women’s or men’s clubs in your area offer member sponsorship programs that invite local residents to participate in projects and fundraisers that give money back to the very community in which you live. Check them out in your county.
KonMari your closet ~ Clean out your closets and donate clothing, toys, books, and household items to local churches or agencies in need. It is as simple as filling and dropping trash bags of used or unwanted items in a drop box or at the back door of a charity organization. Does it bring you joy? If not, consider spreading some to others.
Volunteer at a service ~ When you have the means to make monetary donations, your money is always appreciated. If you can donate money, or tithe at church, please understand that your generosity will help the organization, the parish, or the people in need. However, donating your time to play with animals at the Humane Society, to read for a radio program for the visually impaired, or to play Bingo with residents at an adult home is just as important, and perhaps more rewarding. Reach out to local services that utilize volunteers, your presence is always in need.
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” ~Audrey Hepburn
~Think on These Things~