I have made the greatest impact by undertaking a nonprofit and extending its influence, while fulfilling my devotion to the common good. Service to me is not about visiting an impoverished community once, building strong relationships with the children there, and leaving them behind to settle back into their daily routines while I return to mine, remembering more of the fun I had than the change I made, and not wondering where the children may be now that I’m gone.
While I do not know the children I help, I feel a special bond with them because I see their names on a tag each year and pack their backpacks, remembering the backpacks I had given them the year before. I imagine the child behind the name tag and wonder if just a backpack is enough to give her the determination to thrive at school. I am reassured by the service workers that the kids are uplifted, and these adults who feel like Santa as they deliver the backpacks at their favorite time of year are just as excited.
I hope that my dedication to service inspires my friends to lead outstanding efforts and realize that, as active citizens, we can bring confidence and excitement to children close to home by contributing our knowledge and resources to the next generation of scholars.
More importantly, I hope my excitement and drive will be passed on, and stuffed backpacks are available to an increasing number of needy kids each year. Leading such a project has nurtured heart-warming experiences that I will carry on my back forever.