From Anger to Compassion This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I was enraged at the buzzing of my alarm so early in the morning. It was Saturday, my one day to sleep in, but I had to wake up at five in the morning. I wanted nothing more than to throw my alarm out the window and go back to sleep; instead, my dad swiftly opened the door to my room and flicked on the lights. I was blinded by the light, but I could hear his voice, so enthusiastically telling me to get ready for my service project.

My church set up a massive service project for the youth. We were going to make a struggling neighborhood more pleasant to look at. This included painting homes, improving the landscaping, and accomplishing whatever the owners of the homes wanted us to do. I would say that there were at least 300 youth present at this service project. It was well attended by the youth of our church. The youth were separated into groups of approximately twenty, and they were assigned a home and given the necessary equipment to get the job done.

My particular group met at my church at 5:30 so we could be there by 6:00. I have to admit, I had no intentions of being there. I was looking forward to the donuts they were giving us, more than the actual service we were going to be performing. We arrived at the meeting spot for all of the youth, where we were given our materials, and we headed off to our neighborhood. I looked at the house we were going to be working on, and I could tell we were going to be in for a long day. The house’s paint was peeling off, it looked like they had never mowed the lawn, bushes were overgrown, and parts of the roof over the patio were caving in.

As I started working, my attitude changed. I became glad to be there. I was now glad to be helping this family who could not help themselves. Our group got so much done in six hours. The house was transformed. It was now the best looking house on the street. Every group had also collected food to give to the owners for Thanksgiving. I was asked to be the one to deliver the turkey. I rang the doorbell, and as the owners opened the door, I could see tears streaming down their faces. They were so thankful for our service. They thanked me for our work, and I handed them the turkey and said, “No, thanks for allowing us to serve you.”

This is one of the best experiences I have had. I actually enjoyed the strenuous work and the hours and hours of painting. Just seeing the gratitude on their faces satisfied me. I am still amazed at how much my attitude towards service changed in just a few hours. I now enjoy serving those in need, or just doing anything to help.





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