All community service projects are intended to improve something or are for a good cause, but they are not as meaningful to you if you cannot see the good that you are actually doing. I am not saying that it is not valuable if you have raised $5000 for an organization such as breast cancer just because you wanted to support the cause, but it would mean a whole lot more if you personally knew someone who had breast cancer or someone who survived it. A community service project is meaningful when it affects someone close to you or maybe even you personally. When you are actually able to witness the good that you are doing is when you are honored to be able to say I did that or I helped make this come about.
A community service project that I was involved in that was meaningful to me was one that I did with my cheerleading team. Usually during Christmas time we participated in Toys for Tots and we would pick a preschooler whose family demonstrated a financial need for help to get their family Christmas presents and we sponsored that child. We would all buy different types of gifts such as learning games, clothes, shoes and a few toys so the child could have any enjoyable Christmas and we would present the child with all of their gifts at our last basketball game before Christmas break. During the Christmas of 2009, instead of sponsoring a preschool child we decided to help out someone at our very own school. We sponsored a teacher named Ms. Johnson.
My cheerleading coach was close friends with Ms. Johnson so she knew that she had just gone through a rough divorce and would not be able get her two year-old son, Cameron, hardly anything for Christmas. My coach asked the team how we felt about sponsoring Cameron for Christmas and everyone instantly agreed because we all loved Ms. Johnson and she always helped students out as much as she could. This was our chance to finally help her out and return all the help she had given us inside and outside of class.
My coach wanted it to be a surprise so she made us promise not to tell and fooled Ms. Johnson all the way up until the day for the basketball games where we were supposed to give her the gift. It was really hard for me to keep it a secret because I had Ms. Johnsons class and we used to always talk about everything but I managed to do. At the basketball game that night we took all of our gifts and presented them to Ms. Johnson and her son during halftime. She was so shocked and excited that she was in tears. She was very grateful and thanked us multiple times.
This community service project was meaningful to me because I felt like I had actually had a difference in someone’s life that I knew personally and could see them enjoy what I had done for them. I know that all community service projects have a good effect but I love the feeling of knowing that someone close to me has benefited from something I done. I could physically see what I had donated was being put to good use and not misused or thrown away.