RC Cares Volunteer Efforts
“Why do I need to volunteer? That’s not really my thing and besides, someone else will do it anyway.”
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard this statement or at least one like it. An opportunity presents itself for people to step up and serve their community, an organization or a family in need and even though the need might be seen as real, the response to that need seems to be neglected or at the very least passed on to someone else to help meet or take care of. Now before I go any further let me say that I completely understand that we can’t respond to every single need. That is not only nearly impossible to do, it wouldn’t be healthy for us as individuals. But at the same time, to live our lives in such a way that “serving others” isn’t a part of it, well, this can lead to us missing so many opportunities to not only make a difference in the lives of others but in our own life as well.
Volunteering Changes Lives, Yours Included
I can look back over the past 25 or so years and think of so many volunteer or outreach projects I’ve been a part of and there is a constant with all of them. People begin this journey with the mindset that they are simply going to help others. And listen, that is a huge and important part of serving others…making a difference in someone else’s life. But so many people have initially missed the fact that in the process of investing in others, their own lives are impacted. Sometimes even changed in the process. For example, my two oldest sons were a part of a few missions trips I was on to Nicaragua. They were early teenagers and no doubt were at an impressionable age. Leading up to their first trip most of the talk was all about what we were going to do and how we were going to help others. Yet, in every case, it was my son’s who always walked away changed. Holding babies who were malnourished, not intentionally, but because their parents literally had nothing. Seeing kids their age having only one set of clothes and sometimes no shoes. Families living on dirt floors, sleeping on pieces of plywood and having no “amenities of home”. Now maybe you’re asking, how did that change them? Well for one thing, it sure made them appreciate how much they have. Second, and maybe more importantly, it opened their eyes to the importance of serving others. The fact that when we willingly choose in invest part of ourselves into serving others to help meet their needs, our world changes for the better. They came home and saw things differently and to this day are always looking for ways to willingly serve others.
Home Office Staff Members Give Back in the Ozarks
A team of volunteers from our National Home Office recently had the opportunity to volunteer at Ozark Food Harvest in Springfield, MO. We spent the morning sorting through produce, separating vegetables and fruits that were good and able to be packaged for meals and those that weren’t good that would go to local farmers. That morning we sorted over 16,000 pounds of food and through our efforts, were able to provide over 13,000 meals for local families in need. It was such an amazing experience working together alongside others. We didn’t have to. We got to. Would someone else have done it had we not? Probably, but we would have missed the opportunity to do our part in changing our world in that moment.
Action is Service
Mother Teresa said, “Love cannot remain by itself; it has to be put into action and that action is service.” No doubt we spent our time volunteering to help others and we made a difference. At the same time, our team members walked away feeling different about themselves. Not in a selfish or prideful kind of way, but in a way that made them aware of the importance of doing something they normally wouldn’t do for the sole reason of helping someone else. They realized that while they can’t do everything they do something and when they do, lives get changed for better. So I to YOU…you can’t do everything, but you can do something and when you do lives will be changed…one of which will be yours!
To learn more about Ozarks Food Harvest, click here.
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