A requirement and wonderful opportunity presented to me as a LAS scholar is to complete 30 community service or volunteer hours a year. I would complete these hours even if it wasn’t a requirement. I believe that it’s our duty to serve to causes we believe in. To put our effort in where it is needed, and make a difference in this world. On the same weekend as Relay for Life, there was also a service day traveling to Flint to volunteer at Catholic Charities providing a sense of hope for those in need. The organization provides a soup kitchen, warming center, community closet, counseling and health services. My friend Rachel and I wanted to be in both places so we spent a long Saturday devoted to service.
In our LDR 200 class we have learned many theories that apply to leadership. After my trip to Flint I reflected upon the instances I recognized elements of Servant Leadership in myself and others.
A few observed characteristics of a servant leader:
- Working in an environment serving others with many needs, helps you stand in the shoes of other and understand where they come from. For instance, when working in the community closet, we were noticing how outdated the clothing was. It is better to wear old items than none at all. But being in the presence of others makes your position identifiable. I can’t imagine having to come to a charity service to get clothing. After volunteeringI went through my clothes at home and donated a bunch of things that I didn’t need. I felt guilty holding onto things that others can benefit from.
2. Commitment to the Growth of People
- I was very excited to visit Flint not only to give back and spend time with Rachel, but also to meet new people who enjoy service! Working in this environment is a great way to form relationships because you reflect upon your service and grow together. As the day went on we met many wonderful people who had things in common with us. Opportunities, skills, and ideas were presented by individuals that are unique to them. I believed we all grew socially, psychologically, and in awareness to social justice issues.
Although these we just a few of the characteristics I highlighted, I observed many more during the service day. After learning about service leadership and experiencing it I want to strive to act as a servant leader daily. I don’t want to do service to get credit for it, but because it’s a desire of my heart to do so.
“Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.”
-1 Corinthians 10:24