Service shouldn’t be annual

By on April 18, 2012

Nearly one out of every four Quinnipiac students participated in the Big Event on Saturday. It was the most impressive turnout yet in the event’s three-year history.

It’s the one day every year that we do community service. There’s nothing wrong with getting more than 1,400 people to wake up early once and go out into the greater New Haven area to help others.

The problem is that it’s only one day. We should be doing more community service throughout the year.

I’m not asking you to dedicate all of your free time to serving food at a local soup kitchen. But I am saying that it’s a little pitiful that most people only do community service one day each year.

There are plenty of opportunities to go out and do service for others. Elementary schools in the area love having older kids play with them at recess. I did it a few weeks ago through my fraternity and it was easily one of the most fun times I could imagine having.

Remember when you used to play freeze-tag in third grade? Or wall ball? Or kick ball? Who doesn’t miss those days? Being able to do that now, especially in college right before you head into the real world, rejuvenates the kid inside you.

I easily could have spent that morning getting some much-needed sleep, but instead I brought a smile to those kids’ faces. While some were shy, a lot of them were very comfortable to talk to and play with. The counselors and kids appreciated us playing with them.

Don’t like recess? (How could you not like recess?!) Then read to the kids. There are soup kitchens that can always use help, parks that need to be cleaned up, plants to be planted and so many more opportunities.

It’s not that hard to do and it’s not a hassle. Get a friend or two to do the service with. That way they know some of the benefits of community service and can see how much support they can receive from it. Plus it gives you someone to talk with during some down time.

I wasn’t inspired to do community service until this year, when I was required to do at least eight hours of it for a philosophy class. I thought it would be a nuisance to do, especially since it was for an elective of mine.

Knowing it was a requirement at first turned me off. But that’s the thing: you shouldn’t feel like you have to do it. You should want to do it.

It’s fun and it helps out others. Do it for yourself, even. I know I get a good feeling whenever someone thanks me for something I did. It brings a good feeling to you on the inside.

Sure, you can take part in the Big Event and get a free T-shirt. Or you can do it out of the goodness of your heart and be selfless.

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About Matt Eisenberg

Senior Managing Editor
Email: editor@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @matteisenberg42
Year: 2014
Major: Print journalism