Community Service: The Joy of Giving

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"This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in."
- Theodore Roosevelt

As Secretary of the Debate Club of my high school, I was assigned the job of picking a community service project for the Club to participate in. Our school was having a “service day” and different classes and clubs were picking various projects around the community to do on this day. Some groups were going to play with kids at Safe Place, while others were serving food at the Soup Kitchen, and still others were volunteering to pick up trash around neighborhoods. I saw all of these projects as needs that our community had, but I had the desire to help an individual, or even a family; someone
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We pulled up to the address we had been assigned, and immediately saw that this house needed a lot of work. Not only was the paint chipped and even missing in most parts, but the grass had grown up to the rotted porch, and the fence had missing posts. We made our way up to the front door, and knocked loudly. After several knocks, an older lady made her way to the door. She struggled to open it because the hinges were rusted and the glass door had been shattered. When we told her why we were there, her face lit up with excitement, and she hugged us all with tears in her eyes. I could not believe that a simple coat of paint could make someone this happy. Her reaction provided great motivation for us to begin the task ahead. We began to scrape what was left of the original color of the house and put a fresh coat onto the newly surfaced wood. After applying the first coat of paint, we realized that the house would need a second coat. Our service day had fallen on a Friday and we knew that if we were going to wait for the paint to dry in order to apply another coat, we would have to come the next day. We were all more than willing to return that Saturday if that meant seeing the excitement on the lady’s face once again.

We still had several hours of daylight left after we had finished painting the first coat of paint. We decided that in those hours, we would make the repairs to the rest of the house. We made a trip to Lowe’s