"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
- Albert Schweitzer
Each community is like a human body, it requires a constant life force to survive. Volunteers and community service workers are the blood that maintains our communities. It fortifies our foundations. A community is only as strong as the weakest link. We must empower those weakened by poverty, discrimination and other social injustices. Compassion is a learned behavior. We obtain it through our parents initially teaching us morals such as empathy, kindness, and fairness. Secondly, we can reinforce it through school-based service learning projects. Mandatory school-based community service learning will benefit our country by an increase in volunteerism from the heart and social skills in our children and teens in the future.Service is your engagement in the relationship of the act of giving. Service is its most sincere when we help through whom we are not by what we do. We have to have compassion in order to serve correctly to be in the situation with someone not just for them (Wade, Rahima C., 1997).
Volunteerism is embedded in the fibers of Americans. For centuries we have aided our society in all aspects of volunteerism. Harvard University, in 1636, formed the first academic library which was staffed with volunteers. In 1736, the first Volunteer Fire Department was established; in 1857 the American Red Cross was organized using volunteer labor(Megan 2011).
As volunteers, will we promote charity or solidarity? Charity exhibits as insincere, superior, and often views the poor as sub-human. Solidarity presents a compassionate shared experience and a noticeable respect. Volunteers that make a lasting difference are those that are perceptive and responsive to their deficiencies, weaknesses, and judgments and deal with them head on. A distinct feeling of truth emits when we notice our issues while working with others to tackle their needs (Leonard, 2014). Despite our sturdy history we have experienced a decrease in service (Megan 2011).
Due to this deficit, several initiatives have been taken to foster volunteerism. Initially, for the next three years, Harris L. Wofford, CEO of the Corporation for National Service, which sponsors AmeriCorps, has implemented big plans and goals. They will boost the number of volunteers in all of their programs and foster school-based community service learning in all American schools (Clark, Charles S., 1996). Secondly, reaching out to our teens impact our society in several positive manners. Such as this account, to reinforce positive interpersonal relationships with our disadvantaged troubled youth we find that projects that entails person-to-person service works best. With this involvement they become assets instead of liabilities to our society (Mueller, Alison 2012).