Volunteering Builds Character

April 30, 2008
By Sarah Whitis, Phoenix, AZ

Volunteering Builds Character
I just turned thirteen; most girls my age babysit in their neighborhood, and for most of them, that’s as far as they reach out to help others in their communities. On the contrary, I have been a Girl Scout in the Arizona Cactus Pine Council for eight years now and have been doing a good deal of community service since then. Doing volunteer work for younger Girl Scouts, the SARRC walk for Autism and breast cancer awareness are just a selected few of the many projects I’ve done to improve my community. Doing community service has taught me how to be respectful, responsible, and mature; in addition I have met many amazing adults through my work.

Volunteering has made me a lot more respectful to all adults in my life. A month or so back, my Girl Scout troop organized a camping trip for the younger girls in our community, the Arcadia section of Phoenix, Arizona. Planning and performing the activities took immense time and effort, giving me so much more respect for my teachers who have to do the same type of thing for an entire school year. In addition, I had a new respect for adults, because for that day we were very much like adults to the younger kids. Every school day I respect my teachers by listening intently and every day I interact with some other adult I respect them in the same way.

As a Girl Scout, we pledge to “Be Responsible” this rule has influenced the choices I’ve made for several years. One way I exercise responsibility is by offering to contribute to every event possible in my life. At meetings for my Girl Scout troop I’m offering to help almost constantly by checking dates, informing absent members of news, and so on. I love helping out because it makes you a part of the process and it gives you a true feeling of accomplishment after the matter. In addition, being responsible leads to more trust and with more trust comes more privileges.

I’ve been told for most of my life that I am very mature, and I have begun to realize that it is a trait that comes naturally to me now. Each year since Kindergarten my troop has been involved in a program where we send shoeboxes full of toys, toiletries, and such to underprivileged kids in other countries around Christmas time. Also, we participate in the Christmas Angel program to help kids in our community around this time as well. Doing those things winter after winter made me realize that if I didn’t volunteer in programs like these, I wouldn’t be where I am today because I would have no idea how good I had it. Likewise, without some of the people I’ve met through volunteering I wouldn’t be who I am.

Most kids just say that they look up to their parents, while I look up to my parents; I also look up to my two Girl Scout troop’s leaders. My parents have done a fantastic job raising me and my leaders have done none short of reinforced what they taught me. I think those for adults have kept me off of the said, “road of destruction” that most teenagers are led down for so long. The reason for that is that most kids have a parent to look up to but a lot of kids don’t have enough positive adults in their lives, which is why I feel so lucky. Another positive adult influence in my life in my life is a very cool woman I have recently met this year. Terry and her group of senior Girl Scouts helped my troop with a pink tent fundraiser for breast cancer. My troop met back up with Terry when she was the rock wall instructor for the encampment we had planned. In addition to Terry, there are many other adults in my life that are very righteous because of their work in a community.

Doing community service has built a great deal of character on to my personality. I learn to be more respectful to adults after I was put in an adult position for a day, how to be responsible through my work as a Girl Scout, and I have reinforced my maturity by doing community service. So, volunteering has changed the way I view the world in a lot of very small ways. I think that more people in the United States should volunteer because it very well might change the way they act. From what I’ve learned doing or receiving community service can only help you as a person, it builds character.

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

Mrs. R said...
on Aug. 12 2008 at 3:56 pm
Sarah- you are one amazing girl that I feel very privledged to have worked with and hope to more in the future.

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!