giving back

Monday, July 25, 2011

{photo credit:}

love comes in many forms, and one of those forms is acts of service. each summer my church puts on what they call ServeRDU. it's basically a week of work projects and ministry opportunities for anyone in the church body and surrounding community to be a part of.

i'm not a born teacher or leader, i'm the worst advice giver ever, and i can't seem to find my fit helping in the nursery on sunday morning. however, give me a paintbrush or a rake, and i'm good to go. there's something about getting down and dirty, sweating in the sun, getting paint in my hair that makes me feel like i'm contributing and making a difference. i can stack chairs like nobody's business.

i got to help with two projects during ServeRDU. the first was at an elementary school where we did a lot of landscaping-shoveling mulch, building flower boxes, cleaning a white picket fence, cutting tree limbs, planting flowers, emptying an overgrown decorative pond, etc. i was the lucky one who got fence cleaning duty, so me and my trusty bottle of bleach got down to it. bleach is no joke, kids. that stuff ate through layers of scum. my roommate, amy, came with me and spent the morning weeding out old flower boxes and filling them back up with beautiful flowers and plants.

{photo credit:}

the second project was at converting hearts ministries. chm is a relatively new ministry in the area that provides semi-permanent residences to help men who are recovering from life-controlling addictions. the group of volunteers met early one morning and were assigned duties including painting the inside of the recovery house, clearing out a property pond, picking vegetables from their garden, and doing carpentry work around the site. my team started the huge task of painting the inside of their house. we worked in small groups on each room and worked alongside several of the men who were currently living in the home as residents. it was cool to get to know them as well as people who attend my church whom i had never met before.

the work we did during serve week was pretty basic-yard work, sweeping floors, hosting cookouts for neighborhoods, playing with kids, cleaning windows, painting walls-but i think meeting peoples' basic needs is one of the most practical ways you can share love. have you ever had someone make you a meal when you were sick? or maybe even cleaned your house? if so, then you know how much it helps. i mean, it's just lasagna. it's just a clean floor. but, really, it's so much more.

giving love in the form of an act of service is different than giving love in the form of a gift. presents are always lovely, don't get me wrong, but when you can help someone do something that they couldn't possibly do on their own, it provides a sense of community that a material gift never could. that's exactly what happened during serve week. we gave our time, our skills, and our energy and we gained an incredible sense of community. turns out, we really are all in this together.

what's a cool volunteer opportunity that you've helped with? what was your favorite thing about it?

1 comment:

  1. I'm a horrible advice-giver too. I don't even know why, but there you have it.

    I don't volunteer as much as I used to, truly... but I donate a ton of stuff that I get free with coupons to my local food bank. I need to do better...


love hearing from my readers! xoxo

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground