In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., today is a National Day of Service.

Service is the act of helping others.  People who perform acts of service usually volunteer, meaning that they work without being paid.  Making money is not the goal of this type of service.  Volunteering is intended to promote good and to improve the quality of human life.

I have been involved in many service projects over the years.  Performing an act of service for others did something meaningful for me as well.  It made me feel useful, and made me realize that I could make a difference.

There are many ways for you to be of service and many places to get started.  Helping in your community can bring great benefits to you.  You will build positive relationships with adults and people your age, feel empowered to make a difference, and learn valuable life skills.

Working together, people your age can learn to solve problems and make decisions that successfully contribute to their community.  They can also connect local concerns with global issues and gain an awareness of others.  All of this will serve you now and years later as you transition into the adult world.

There are plenty of opportunities for you to get started being of service today.  There are people in your area waiting for you to help out.  They will welcome and appreciate the service you offer.

Be Unlimited wanted to offer a few ideas for how to be of service* all year long:

  • Improve the school grounds by forming a litter patrol.
  • Develop and maintain a recycling program at school.
  • Collect food, clothing, toys, or personal care items for families in need and living in local shelters.  Check with your local police station or fire station.  Many will take deliveries to shelters for you.
  • Make holiday cards, birthday cards, and notes for elderly people living in nursing homes and children in hospitals.
  • Write letters to the service men and women protecting our country overseas.  Put together a care package for them.
  • Read a book to a younger child who needs help learning how to read, or a student in a special needs classroom in your school who is learning to read.
  • Spend time with a senior citizen that you know.  They will benefit from your company.

Being of service in the ways listed above will cost you little to nothing.  The most important donation is your time and your effort to serve.  Many people your age have already discovered their potential and are making an impact in the world around them through service.  They are demonstrating that it is possible.

Find your own way to be useful.  Remember, you are unlimited.  The question is…how are you going to serve?

(*You are never too young to serve, but depending on how old you are, you’ll need the permission of an adult before getting involved in a service project.  Check with them first.  They will be proud to see you wanting to make a difference.)

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