As we find ourselves on the eve of Thanksgiving, we work to proclaim our thanks for the good in our life and practice gratitude. The desire to give swells. In the Service-Learning office, we receive many more requests than typical from students looking for opportunities to serve those less fortunate.
Consistently, what these students find is that service is reciprocal. The kindness given and the warmth that it brings does not simply help the person receiving it, but also the giver. The act itself is kind, and very powerful. Acts such as serving food at the St. Francis Inn, planting in the gardens in Camden, or sharing time with a student from Elwyn are experiences in which the power of service is evident. Both the person giving and receiving can feel a positive connection.
Some of you might worry about this concept - that giving does not count if it makes you feel good. Perhaps you question your own motivations for serving. Don't! This is ok! Humans like feeling this way, we want to feel good inside. We have called this many things across the history of mankind. Karma, for example, is the concept that a deed or action will be returned to you. It is associated very closely with free will. Therefore, those who act of their own accord receive the most satisfaction.
This is a busy and stressful time for many students; you might want to volunteer right now, but cannot find the time. That is okay! Many of us have been there before and we are praying for you. Service (re: not class related service) has no due date. Need and worthy causes do not end in the new year. We would love to hear from you when you find yourself available once more, and know that many of the service locations would love to have you volunteer after the holidays!