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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Realizations: Servants for every season

Friday, October 26, 2007  
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By Rachel Chisholm

Inevitably the cold weather paired with Halloween candy in abundance stirs something in me that I love. Fall is here, and a jacket will soon become everyone’s necessary accessory.

With the fall season comes so many things worthy of mentioning. One thing in particular that I can’t help but dwell on is the sudden change of heart that people seem to have this time each year.

Referring to this time of year as “the season of giving” perplexes me. Why is this the more appropriate time of year to give? Yes, the holidays do create a sense of nostalgia and make us feel good, but it seems ludicrous to block out this time as more heavily focused on acts of service and generosity than any other.

I hear about effective things local places such as Jesus House, City Rescue Mission and others do for the community. Food drives are held by various groups and organizations to provide families with food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I feel passionate that these are wonderful and necessary ways in which the community can be reached. However, I feel there is much more that could and should be done by would-be volunteers.

Many volunteer-based organizations have continued trouble with keeping people interested long enough to seriously commit to even one simple day of volunteer work. A friend of mine recently explained a day in the life of a coordinator for such a volunteer program. She expressed that the only thing that is predictable about her day is that it is unpredictable. She mentioned that almost daily she receives calls from eager groups promising some 30 members of their organization wanting to give an entire morning or afternoon of their time. This eager phone call is soon followed up by a regretful one, explaining only five members could actually make it for only a few hours. Hearing this didn’t really shock me, and perhaps that is the most discouraging thing about it. I am sad at the lack of attention we give to serving one another and the negative connotation that is associated with volunteer work in general.

Most Social Service Clubs on campus require their members a certain amount of social service hours to remain a member. This is a good thing, but only if it is enforced and made a real priority. I logged my social service hours when I was in club, but now wish we had all appreciated the opportunity and fully realized the magnitude of what we were doing then. It makes so much sense to me for our clubs to put a greater priority on the amount of service in which they participate. After all, the title is Social Service Club and not just Social Club.

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