A small confession

Hello. My name is Vanessa and I am an addict to community service.

It started so long ago and built up so slowly that before I knew it, I had to have service opportunities whenever I could. It didn’t matter if I did it with friends or if I was alone. The more I did, the more I wanted.

My first service experience was singing in a nursing home when I was 6. The first time was no fun; I went because I caved into peer pressure. After the first couple of tries, I was hooked on the stuff. Food and clothing drives and fundraising for pennies with UNICEF boxes was just the beginning. Through Girl Scouts, I found just how powerful service could be. From there, I moved on to more serious stuff with Habitat for Humanity and leading organizations in college. I even started traveling looking for service. First to Mexico, and then later Mozambique and now Argentina.

Now that my personal supply of service will run out in a month, I am looking for more, but I think I will stick to the States this time, possibly with AmeriCorps. I have heard that Service Nation is trying to get millions hooked. With the presidential election on the horizon, you can’t escape discussion of service. Apparently, service is pretty addictive for others because now people are using social media to find more of it. I know that I should warn them so they don’t get caught in the same trap, but somehow it doesn’t feel right. I have never felt better than when I indulge this addiction. Perhaps you would like to try?

2 comments so far

  1. Tiffany on

    My first community service experience was singing at a nursing home too!

    I’ve never thought about community service as if it’s an addiction, but it definitely feels like one. Once you start, you can’t stop because you feel like no matter what you do, or how effective it is, it’s never enough. This is definitely heightened with social media constantly reminding you how much is out there to accomplish and overcome.

    Once you’re in, it’s impossible to get out. Ha, so it’s like a gang too.

  2. Vanessa on

    Haha it must be an activity for elementary schools to arrange. I never thought of the gang aspect of it. It certainly does have its own sort of language and rules. It’s amazing that there is so much variety in experiences yet if you speak with peers who have participated in service, they do share in many aspects of what they learned and how those experiences affected their lives.


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