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Volunteer work is good for the soul

This was our food drive at St. Paul Lutheran Church yesterday, June 20. Photo courtesy of Rachel Berlinski.

What we need now more than ever is to give something back to the world. Yesterday, I volunteered at my church for their food depository drive. We handed out boxes of meat, produce and dairy to those in need.

We got there at eight in the morning to unload the semi, and formed an assembly line to unload crates of food onto pallets. Then we set up driveby stations for people to line up their cars, so we could load their boxes of food in.

With having to wear a mask and constantly lift boxes of food, it was especially hot. But we felt good in knowing that we were helping people. It also felt good just to get out of the house and talk to familiar faces from church, people I haven't seen in months.

They say that when you do volunteer work, you get a natural high, as it releases the dopamine receptors in your brain. So often times we ask ourselves what can make us happy instead of asking ourselves what can make others happy. Jesus called on us to help others and to do unto others as you would have done unto you. We are asked to help the less fortunate, and there are a lot of less fortunate out there that are in need of our help.

I did a story in college about raising homeless awareness. It was one of my favorite stories that I ever wrote because I volunteered at a PADS shelter to write the story. I ended up still volunteering there even after the story was complete. I wanted to get to know the people more than just in a journalistic way. I found out that a lot of them held jobs and were trying to get back on their feet. Their jobs did not make them enough money though to afford them independence yet, which I saw as depressing for the minimum wage worker.

I took some comfort though in knowing that I was there, helping them with their stay at the shelter and socializing with them, whereas a lot of people may just pass by them quickly.

I could always volunteer more, but whenever I do, I feel good about doing it. Volunteer work does not always have to come in the form of helping the less fortunate, but it can come in the form of helping out your friends and family too. My dad has always helped me out whenever I have asked. He never hesitates to come over and watch my son and help me with yard work. He likes spending time with me, no matter what we are doing, just as I like spending time with my son. These are values that I have learned from him, and I am grateful for that.

Take time to spend with your dad if you can this Father's Day, and I encourage you to volunteer your time to help others going forward. It will only bring more fulfillment to your life.

Below is a video that some people have been sending me where a pastor urges us to share our Christian faith, similar to other viral videos, in order to help others and make the world a better place. I don't think you have to be a Christian to make the world a better place, but knowing the power of God's love certainly gives you a compass to do so. Consider taking a look at this video and see what you think.

In closing, I wish you all the best Father's Day, and I would like to thank all of the dads out there for all that you have done and are doing to teach a whole new generations of sons and daughters how to help others. Thank you.

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