I’ll be honest. When I first found out that I had to complete 10 hours of community service per semester for my sorority, I was frustrated to say the least. “Sure,” I thought “community service is great. Selflessness is a great characteristic to possess, but I don’t have time to do 10 hours of community service on top of all the other responsibilities I already have.”
Nevertheless, in fear of being fined, I decided to set aside time this past week to volunteer. I knew there were a few options in Muncie that accepted volunteers without any notice. Originally, I had planned on volunteering at the Animal Rescue Fund (ARF). But because ARF is outside, and the weather wasn’t very nice, I decided to volunteer at Second Harvest of East Central Indiana, a local food bank.
After arriving, the receptionist took me to the back warehouse. The first thought that crossed my mind was how cold the warehouse was (selfish, I know). Following that thought, however, I almost immediately realized what an amazing organization Second Harvest is. After volunteering at Second Harvest for only about 4 hours this week, I realized not only the good I was doing, but how much fun it was, too.
I have mostly helped by bagging fruits and vegetables (which I find strangely entertaining, but makes sense since I find so much entertainment in bagging groceries at work). I even discovered a strange fruit I had never heard or seen before-Ugli Fruit, or the Jamaican tangelo. I also found out Brussel sprouts grow on a ridiculously large stem.
Unlike some community service I have done in the past, volunteering at Second Harvest makes me feel like I am actually doing something good that will significantly impact others. I have also found that the workers at Second Harvest are extremely friendly and welcoming, as well as funny and personable.
I now realize that taking out a few hours to volunteer each week should not be a burden, rather, something you do in order to give back to your community. Plus, service is one of Sigma Kappa’s 4 core values. Instead of simply preaching and reciting these values, I am now going to try to actually live them out everyday, which is much more powerful than simply knowing them. I definitely regret my original pessimistic attitude towards community service, and am pleased in my change of heart. I’m definitely excited to continue volunteering at Second Harvest!