Authored by: Gina Percival, Public Relations Coordinator at Salt Lake County Youth Services
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Service is a big word. Service is a big word we have just set apart when we barely have time to work and have a family life. Service is a big word that we tend to remember at the end and beginning of each year, when we are full of goals and resolutions. Service is a big word that we tend to forget as we usually find ourselves overwhelmed by responsibilities. However, there is days like Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK) in which we should ask ourselves what are we doing for others and how can we serve our peers.
MLK federal holiday is the perfect opportunity to reflect upon Dr. King’s legacy. Contrary to the popular belief, it should be considered as a Day on, rather than a Day off, as it is when we should all work together in service projects to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, and create solutions to social problems that we witness every day in our neighborhoods, counties or states.
Everything is possible and small as it may seem, a day could bring a lot, could mean a lot, could make a difference. Actually service – instead of being a big word- is the best tool we have to give back to the community, to give back to ourselves. There is no feeling that can compare to the power of giving without expecting anything in return. There is no feeling such as bringing a smile or giving a hug to someone in need. There is no such thing as being able to witness and share happiness with a stranger. There is no such thing as experiencing tears of joy.
It doesn’t take much to make a change. You just have to go the extra mile to find out what you want to do and how you want to serve. Salt Lake County Youth Services doors are always open one time or ongoing volunteers that want to join our team to help us serve over 9,000 kids, in many of our daily activities such as:
• Teaching the youth a special skill (such as piano, guitar, dance, sewing, pottery, sports, art, etc.) or just spending some quality time with the kids.
• Helping staff with day-to-day activities and events, while interacting with the children and youth.
• Planning and participating in activities with the After-School Program.
• Providing tutoring and lessons for school-aged children.
• Becoming an intern.
There opportunities are unlimited. You should give it a try. For more resources, visit:
Service should never be a big word. Making it big, makes it unreachable, almost impossible. Service should never remote and should never be out of the question. It is within our possibilities and capabilities. It is within our reach. I may be even at our work, or within our neighborhood. Service is the extra step that I can guarantee will make each day feel great, instead of good. Service is the extra mile we take when we don’t think about not having time, but about making time. Because we matter, because they matter.
“Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.