What was the cost of your salvation? It took no less that Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, taking on human flesh to serve you and give His life as a ransom for yours. Praise Him today for His work to “serve” you.
Last night, 1/24/12, I had an amazing opportunity to share my story of volunteering through YouthFriends. I thought I would post some of what I shared last night…
Most everyone wants to live lives that make a difference. We struggle though to know either where to begin or what to get involved with. I was in that place as a pastor about 15 months ago. I knew I needed to be involved in people’s lives, but didn’t know where to start.
It was at that time, that YouthFriends Director (at that time) Diane Caton came to a gathering of Hutchinson Area Pastors and spoke of the great needs we have in our community. There are numerous schools that have a large population on free and reduced lunch. There are especially needs for male role models in schools. Walking out of this meeting and hearing of that need, I signed up immediately.
After the brief training, I was eventually assigned by YouthFriends to be a WatchD.O.G. at Lincoln Elementary School. In my brief time there, I’ve noticed 3 benefits of serving as a volunteer:
1) Relationships. As a volunteer, I get to know the amazing people that serve in public education in our community. I get to interact with teachers and staff. This, coupled with the amazing staff at Communities That Care/YouthFriends positions me to succeed because I am related to people who believe in success. I also get to relate to students. I get to befriend and encourage children of all ages by serving in the school.
2) Change. As a volunteer, I get to a birds-eye view into change at these levels. I get to see students making progress. In the case of Lincoln, I have seen the entire culture of a school change in a short time (more a testimony to the people there not me).
3) Focus. Volunteering provides me to give a small amount of time to affect long term change. My small investments are like throwing money in an interest bearing account for a long time. The longer the investment, the richer the return. Serving children in elementary school may position me to be a part of something bigger down the road in their lives.
I closed by thanking the volunteers and urging people to share their story so that others can volunteer and know these rich benefits.
If you’re not involved serving the community in some way, why not consider partnering with YouthFriends to make a difference.
Here’s my opinion piece in today’s Hutch News…
Volunteer for the kids
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 01:38:29 AM
We have returned to school, and again I’m filled with gratefulness for the service that the many teachers, administrators and support staff give to our children and students through our schools. And as we return to school, it’s a great time to give some time yourself to make our community strong. In the 1800s, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that “the greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” Many of us long for our children and grandchildren to have the same (or better) opportunity that we’ve had in our great country. One way that you can help in this is by volunteering in our schools. Many organizations give you this chance. I’m happy to be among the 500 volunteers serving through YouthFriends. We serve 2,000 Reno County students annually. YouthFriends connects volunteers to do things like have lunch with a student, help with reading or academic tutoring, share an interest or a hobby or simply listen. They tailor your time to serve the needs of the students. We are all grateful for the impact our schools have on our children. Why not step out and make a difference yourself and together we can make our community a better place, one relationship at a time?