[sur-vis] adjective, verb, serv·iced, ser·vic·ing. noun
1. an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service.2. the supplying or supplier of utilities or commodities, as water, electricity, or gas, required or demanded by the public.3. the providing or a provider of accommodation and activities required by the public, as maintenance, repair, etc.: The manufacturer guarantees service and parts.4. the organized system of apparatus, appliances, employees, etc., for supplying some accommodation required by the public: a television repair service.5. the supplying or a supplier of public communication and transportation: telephone service; bus service.
Witnessing so many calls to action and areas of need over the Fall and Winter holidays has led to musings about the work service itself. I remember years ago when my husband had the revelation that he was at his happiest when he was doing service work. I believe we all want to make a difference. I think it is a fundamental teaching. Treat others as you would like to be treated – Be of service.
There are many local opportunities to make a difference. Upon creating an account at www.volunteermatch.org, I received a message that “We’ve found 1,123 volunteer opportunities near Edmonds, WA”. Whoa. Need, opportunities, contact information… now to find the impetus to follow up. All on me now.
Giving blood. Walking an elderly neighbors dog. Buying a present for a child off a local giving tree. Serving food at a local church or mission. Sort food at the food bank nearest you. Vote. Develop or support a micro-lending program for new businesses. Mentor a child or team. Read at a local daycare facility. Ride your bike or take public transportation to work. Be a big brother or sister. Write a check. Contact an organization that builds homes. Start a drive for supplies for the homeless. Clearly, the list goes on.
On my path, I know that people want to make a difference. Some do it by giving time, some by giving money. Many of us are so busy getting through each day, that the act of service is simply an intention at this point. In the day to day whirlwind, it can be all one can do to get to work, eat daily meals and get back home again to tend to individual needs. Sometimes, service is like exercise – we know we feel better when we do it regularly, we know it is good for our own state of mind and those we give to, but it is easy to get in a routine filled with intention. The “tomorrow” that looms on the horizon sometimes never comes.
As we move past the season of gratitude, followed by the season of giving. (Shouldn’t gratitude and giving be sentiments year round? just sayin’…) Consider what you do in service. Just like when you drag yourself to that exercise class, workout or walk – you will feel better afterwards. I think I will lead by example and head down to the club and schedule up some service work my self. Please let me know what work you did – Our forum page has a SERVICE topic. We want to hear your story!