Service Learning Essay
Despite the fact that it is a course requirement for students to take part in 10 hours of community service during the semester, this is an important activity that gets students on a face-to-face interaction with people in the larger community who need help and support. I had an opportunity to take part in a professional builder’s volunteer program putting up siding with Habitat for Humanity as part of the community and national effort. This is a part of the nationwide volunteer services that aim to build, renovate, and repair over 200 homes yearly for the needy in society. This program puts together over 250 professional builders in a weeklong program to build strong houses for the poor people (Habitat for Humanity International, 2015). I was part of a fortunate team that collaborated with builders to assist families in need of affordable homes. Through sharing their talents, as well as skills with us, we were able to increase our capability to help transform communities. Building homes for the less fortunate is among the most important community services that an individual can participate. Considering that shelter is one of the basic needs of human beings, providing a home for the homeless transforms their lives almost immediately.
I also participated in the Respite Day Volunteer, a program aimed at giving parents an opportunity for a day off while students watch their children with autism, Aspergers, Down Syndrome and other psychological and developmental disorders. The boy I watched had autism. Caring for children with special needs requires patience and special attention of the caregiver. It also calls for maintenance of a calm environment, which include avoiding bringing other new people whom the child is unfamiliar. To ensure that there were no problems arising from taking care of the children, their parents were asked how to handle them if they became agitated. To ensure that the boy was not agitated by the change of routine, I sat alongside the child and mimicked his play. I learnt that in order to assist children suffering from autism they need to be rewarded for good behavior. The responsibility of taking care of children with special needs makes it easy for one to identify with their problems and develop practical skills for assisting everyone in need.
These community services demonstrate commitment to Christian humanistic values such as justice, peace, equity, sustainable living, and care for the needy. Habitat for Humanity International is a worldwide non-profit Christian housing organization that aims to put the love of GOD into action through bringing people together to build hope, homes and communities (Habitat for Humanity International, 2015). On the other hand, Respite Day Volunteer aims to bring hope to children with special needs and their parents by assuring them that they have not been forsaken by the community. Volunteer services provide students with an opportunity to take an active role in community building. It also assists individuals to acquire skills as well as knowledge in addition to providing services and support to others in society who are in need in some way. Some of the benefits associated with these services are that besides assisting the needy in society, they create a feeling of satisfaction and reduce stress among participants. They also help create a special bond between the volunteers are the community. Active participation in community service enhances a student’s resume and allows them to get work related skills before graduation. It increases the potential to interact with future employers in addition to developing a social responsibility skill and becoming more aware of the community needs. Community service provides students with eye-opening experiences.
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