Giving money to a charity really should be given from the heart, not just to make people look better. Donating to the poor or the sick should not be just for recognition of oneself. Giving should be done, not to get a name in the newspaper or on a plaque, but to help those who are less fortunate. In order to make the giving valuable, to the giver, they should experience or witness the lives of the less fortunate or sick. Community service is a very valuable way to get something out of life and give something back.
Community service can help the more fortunate to understand and appreciate the needs of the sick, the poor and the destroyed environment. Volunteering in a hospital will help teach healthy people the importance of life. Going into the hospital can help the volunteer learn the value of life and how important every minute of life really is. For instance, women and men who volunteer in an infant AIDS ward may learn to take better care of themselves so that they will have healthy children someday.
Young people who volunteer in a geriatrics ward may realize the importance of Mom and Dad, have more patience for old people and have much to learn from the elderly. Working without pay in a homeless shelter helps people learn that being poor is not wrong. It is just an unfortunate way of life for some. Volunteering in the shelters teaches us that we are all equal, whether we have money or not. Homeless and poor people have families too: husbands, wives, children, even pets.
Getting to know people who have less helps us remember that they have all the capabilities of a human being. People can learn to appreciate the earth by getting involved in organizations set up to help clean up the environment. For instance, two years ago I went on a camping trip in Vermont. One of the activities was canoeing. As we were going down the river, we saw lots of debris and decided to clean it up. The life in and surrounding the water all benefited from our clean-up efforts and we realized the importance of not littering.
More people should follow in these footsteps. Community service helps the people who receive the service, our land and the volunteers, as well. The people who receive service from volunteers get to have a little bit of a better life and learn that people actually care about them. The land becomes cleaner and the trees become greener. The volunteers themselves learn everything and everyone is valuable. They also learn that volunteering can actually be fun!