Yesterday I had the opportunity to volunteer with an organization that feeds, clothes and assists the less fortunate in my community. It is quite sad to say, but I have not volunteered since college – over 8 years ago.
With yesterday being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it was a perfect day to give back and do more than hit my snooze button and sleep in. Prior to arriving, I had no idea what I would be doing but I was excited about whatever the experience would bring. Here are a few takeaways from my time volunteering:
When I arrived, there was a long line of people with bags waiting to receive goods from the organization. They were there before many of the volunteers just hoping to get food, water, clothing and toiletries – basically anything for themselves and their families. I remembered in that moment that I need to be grateful to God that I have ability to provide for myself. Any and everything that I have can be taken away in an instant. I too could be standing in a line hoping for basic needs. I must remember to thank God for EVERYTHING, especially those things I sometimes take for granted.
Start with my Community
The organization is 15 minutes from my home and I never knew it existed. I often give spare dollar bills to the homeless but it is usually downtown and many miles away from where I reside. After yesterday, I see that there are many people who have great needs in my own backyard, and I plan to volunteer there much more.
Volunteering Brings Joy
Being there brought me great joy! I had an opportunity to meet some great people who were interested in helping just as much as I was. It reminded me that there are still good people in the world who have a heart to help someone other than themselves.
It is My Responsibility
Volunteering reminded me of scriptures in the Bible, where God instructed his children to assist to the poor:
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. – Luke 14: 13-14
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. –Proverbs 19:17
Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. – Proverbs 21:13
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. -Proverbs 22:9
Of course, we should not help the poor to receive blessings from God, but we should help because we love God, and this is what he requires of us. I have been slacking in this area of my life but after yesterday, I will make it a priority to volunteer more. No more just handing spare dollars out of my car window. I will give my time, which is the most expensive thing that I have to give.
Yesterday was the first day of many!
-Live Life, God Bless