The Top 5 Reasons I Volunteer

Geek!This is Justin Lewis’ submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

I have been blessed with a reasonably comfortable life, and it disturbs me. I know that may be a rather odd statement, but it is the truth. Why have I been blessed with so much when there are those who have so little? This is the root of my desire to volunteer. I want to give back what I can to those who need it. In the event that I was to win the HP Magic Giveaway, I would donate three of the computers to the Sterling, Kansas chapter of Youth Friends. This is an after-school program which focuses on Pre-K through fifth grade students. Sterling is located in one of the poorest counties in the state of Kansas and thus, lacks the funds for technological advancement. At this point in time, there is no computer-based learning within the program. In a culture that is increasingly focused on technology, it is vital for these children to learn about and use computers. With that said, here are the five key reasons that I feel a need to volunteer.

I am an American.

I have been blessed with a wonderful democratic system and I should take the responsibility that accompanies it. We live in a country where the people are in charge and the people can make a difference. Only through experience can we gain awareness, and only through awareness can we elicit change. We must change, because the wars of this generation will be those of social inequality and poverty, not gold or territory.

I am a Psychologist.

This means that I have a passion for others and thus want to spend time and interact with people. What better way to do this than through service? On a personal level, I get fulfillment from these interactions. I want to be the one to directly help others. I want to be an advocate for the less fortunate and the forgotten. The only way to do this is to seek out injustice in the dark and desperate places of the earth. I must intentionally search and learn of the problems in the world, because evil is not always front-page news. Even as I type this people go hungry, children are sold into slavery, and parents wither and die from preventable diseases. Once I’ve been exposed to the injustice, there is no way that I can stand idly by and listen to their cries.

I am Human.

We are communal by nature, and thus we must take care of the community of which we are a part. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor, stated that he who is not in community should beware being alone. By design humanity is supposed to live together and help one another. Why should I have excess when there are those with none?

I am a Christian.

Biblically, we are called to be servants. Christ commanded his people to love God with all our hearts and love each other as He has loved us. “29: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30: ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31: The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 29-31 ESV.

I am a Teacher.

There is no greater feeling than to know that the lives of others have been changed and shaped by my actions. I have a deep desire to pass on my knowledge, experience, and perspective to the next generation. There is no better way to teach love, compassion, and helpfulness than through demonstrating just that.