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A Reflection on Service Learning

I do not know what to write about since we are done reading our last play. Everyone in class is probably frantically trying to finish up all their final projects or study for the exam we have tomorrow. Perhaps even finish the last hours of the service-learning portion of the class. One thing I would like to share tonight is a pleasant surprise that I received today. This surprise made my day and was completely unexpected. You all may be thinking what is this glorious thing that happened today. Well I received a handwritten thank you for my service throughout the semester at the Simpson Housing Services. I had already received many thank yous from the men I served at the shelter and I felt good about what I had done for them. However this thank you meant so much more for some reason. I guess I didn't feel I deserved another thank you from the shelter director because I feel like I should thank them for opportunity they gave me. They gave me an opportunity to help somebody who is truly in need and the satisfaction I received from this experience far outweighed the time I "donated" to the shelter. Also they presented me with an opportunity to complete the service-learning requirement for this class, so I can graduate in 4 days. I guess what I am trying to say is that I think that all of us should thank the organizations that accommodated our busy schedules and trained us on how to complete our designated job. They did all knowing that we would probably only "volunteer" with their organization for the minimum amount of hours needed to complete our service-learning requirement. I'm sure if anyone else thought of this but it was probably required a larger commitment of time and resources for organization that we volunteered for than it was for us students to work 30 hours at that organization. As we move through the rest of our lives I think it is important to think about how we can give or we can take and that we need balance these two or otherwise the world doesn't work. I would like to close with a famous and maybe cliché quote for JFK "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."

Comments

On my last day at Ascension Place I too received a thank you card. It was signed by everyone who worked there. Throughout my volunteer work I never really thought that I was a really big help in anyway. I worked in the front office so at first I answered the phones, answered the door and did other tasks but then another girl was actually hired to do all of those things so there were times that I felt completely useless. I really did not expect to get a thank you card because I agree that I am the one who should be thanking them. They were the ones who let me come in, knowing perfectly well that I was more or less forced to be there, and still treated me as kindly as they did anyone else. My biggest surprise was when the director told me that if I ever needed another place to volunteer at that they would be more than happy to welcome me back. I knew I did not make much of a difference in any of the women’s lives but it was very fulfilling to know that my time there was appreciated.

Well it is wonderful that you felt so appreciated and thankful at the same time, that the one thank you note touched you so much. I personally agree that the greatest feeling throughout this course was being thanked by those in need at our service organizations. Yesterday I was at the Jane Addams School filling up my last 3 hours, and it was the best of the days too, filled with fun activities and little kids actively trying to learn my language. I was thanked heartfully by this studious immigrant, and it felt wonderful, probably much like what you felt. Also, one of the organizers thanked me like he always does.
You did highlight something else quite important, that we should be thankful too to the organization we work for. Besides, it is they who are the ones actively creating a difference, and providing opportunities to people like us to do so too. To see so many of them devoting their time and selves to the cause on a regular basis without any service hours to fulfill warms up the cold place that the world is.

Well it is wonderful that you felt so appreciated and thankful at the same time, that the one thank you note touched you so much. I personally agree that the greatest feeling throughout this course was being thanked by those in need at our service organizations. Yesterday I was at the Jane Addams School filling up my last 3 hours, and it was the best of the days too, filled with fun activities and little kids actively trying to learn my language. I was thanked heartfully by this studious immigrant, and it felt wonderful, probably much like what you felt. Also, one of the organizers thanked me like he always does.
You did highlight something else quite important, that we should be thankful too to the organization we work for. Besides, it is they who are the ones actively creating a difference, and providing opportunities to people like us to do so too. To see so many of them devoting their time and selves to the cause on a regular basis without any service hours to fulfill warms up the cold place that the world is.