The Importance of Volunteering

By Sarah Jaber

As Woodrow Wilson once said, “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and to impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” This quote summarizes many of my beliefs towards the idea of volunteering. Caring for others is not something that comes naturally. It is something acquired through experience and through knowledge. Volunteering is something that can provide these components.

First, volunteering, though many do not realize, truly does make a difference. Many people question the impact one person can make on an entire population or in some cases part of an entire continent dying of hunger. It may be hard to believe, but one person doing good and helping others can in fact make a tremendous difference. This does not mean that change will be seen instantly, for the change must start from within. But by making the intention to help others, we are helping ourselves learn the art of empathy. When we care for others what we care for ourselves, then volunteering, no matter how small of a task, can make a difference.

Over the summer, I volunteered at Feed My Starving Children, an organization that packages food for those that are dying of hunger or malnutrition. Walking into the building, I did not see too many people. I remember asking myself how a room filled with only twenty people was going to help children in Africa who were dying as we spoke. But as time progressed, I was proven otherwise. For an hour we packaged boxes of food with specific samples of nutrients and in the end we learned that each box made 217 meals. That day we packaged six boxes. That comes to a total of 1,302 meals, and we were just one group that was packaging. It then hit me that no matter how small the task may seem to be, there is always a way to make a difference.

By volunteering, you are expanding your horizon. Instead of hearing about a calamity, you are standing up in the face of it to create change. Instead of reading it in the newspaper, you are reaching out with a helping hand. When we see the true pains that others are in, we are able to sensitize ourselves to the world. One may then wonder why he was chosen to have such blessings or why he isn’t the one starving. This type of thinking truly makes us appreciate our blessings. Volunteering is an activity everyone should partake in in the community. Because by volunteering, we are helping ourselves through helping others.