Today I wanted to talk about how important it is to give back to your community, and how doing so has shaped the person I am today. Giving back to your community through volunteer groups, non-profit organizations, charity, or other means does so much to help those in need and contribute to the common good. There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe the significance of giving back. Even the most simple acts of benevolence — the ones we think of as “random acts of kindness” or “no big deal” — are actually incredibly important.
I read this quote from Pope Francis today and it really inspired me to write this post:
“…have the courage to go against the tide of this culture…the culture of exclusion, of rejection, is spreading…There is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child; there is no time for that poor person in the street. Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter!”
– Pope Francis
I have personally volunteered at my local soup kitchen many times, and I love seeing and hearing the stories of the people who come in to have a meal there. One of the most amazing things that I have noticed as I volunteer there is that anytime I ask any one of the people who walk through the door about their day, they always respond with a positive, happy response. These people are going through the worst times in their lives, and yet their genuine response is always a positive one. Having the opportunity to connect with the people in my community through volunteer work never fails to make me want to better myself as a person, and it also just lights up my day. Not only does volunteering impact the lives of others, but it has also greatly impacted my life as well. Giving back to my community has not only shown me how to love others the way we as Christians are meant to, but it has taught me the importance of being thankful for what I have and taught me that happiness does not lie in the material things of this world.
Volunteering at your local soup kitchen, donating money to charity, and donating old clothes to St. Vincent de Paul are just a few ways you can make an impact in your community. Not only are you helping others when you volunteer, you are also bettering yourself by being the hands and feet of Christ as we are all called to be.
Now go out and do some good in this world! 🙂