It isn't rare to hear someone say that when they volunteer or do service they are "giving up their time." I don't like this. I'm a firm believer that service work is some of the best spent time. There is no sacrifice involved. However, I completely understand the lack of motivation that sometimes comes along with volunteering. Once in a while (especially when its dark and freezing cold outside) it's hard to get yourself up out of your warm comfy dorm room and out into the real world to help people. But it's worth it.
Every Thursday evening, from 6-8:30 p..m. I volunteer at Manchester Adult Learning Center (MALC). I help to teach English to a classroom of eager adults, ranging in age from 18-75. I love this part of my Thursday evenings. It is almost always the most rewarding part of my week. The students are so grateful to have me there to help them, and I always leave feeling very humbled and privileged to be able to teach them. The students come from all different countries throughout the world and take these classes in order to assist them in adapting to America and learning the native language.
Well, this past Thursday I was experiencing one of those not-so-motivated moments. I had just had dinner with my friends and all I really wanted to do was join the girls from across the hall in their Ben and Jerry's party. But I had to go to MALC. I had missed the previous week's class because of car trouble so I hadn't seen my students in a while. So, grumpily, I left my dorm and drove over to MALC. I was so happy I made the decision not to skip. That night the class was putting on a Thanksgiving skit and it was the most entertaining thing I have seen in a while. All the students were getting a kick out of themselves and teasing each other about their mispronunciations. And I had the honor of being an audience member. It was the first time I had seen a "First Thanksgiving" play with a Chinese narrator, an African Squanto, a Haitian Indian chief and pilgrims from Greece, Russia, Iran, Iraq and Colombia. The diversity in the classroom really came to life through their skit and it was awesome! Plus, my students were so happy to see me! I got lots of hugs and my friends even saved me some Ben and Jerry's for when I got back! Overall–great night. So I encourage everyone to get out there and volunteer. Don't do it because it's a sacrifice, do it because it's fun!