May 4, 2010
By anna12198 BRONZE, Houston, Texas
anna12198 BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

My whole life I’ve lived in a nice house, gone to nice parks, and always had something to do in the summer. I never actually realized that not everybody has a park to play in, or a church to go to, or a place to have fun. That’s why when I went on my first mission trip I learned a lot about the world.

We drove eight hours to get to Albany, Texas, population 2,000. Even though I’ve been to small towns before, this one was different. It was one big community, the people welcomed us and they made it feel like a second home. People aren’t naturally nice in big cities, like they are in small towns. The people in Albany showed how much they appreciated our help, by making us feel welcome.

All week we did mission work, we rebuilt the broken playground, put down new mulch, and repainted the park pavilion. The work we did made me feel like a better person, because I could see how it affected the lives of average people. Volunteering is something that is not always easy, or convenient, but rewarding. It isn’t as common as most people think, because only 26.8 percent of the American population volunteered in 2009, and that was only up .4 percent from 2008. People don’t realize the effect that volunteering has on others who need it, that is part of the reason why the volunteer rate is so low.

Volunteer work is needed in most places, but people are not willing to help out. If just 50 percent of the American population decided to volunteer for just one day out of the year, the country as a whole would be a lot better than it is now. I have volunteered, and I have felt what it’s like to know that you were helping someone who needs it, but not everybody has felt that feeling. Helping someone isn’t something people have to do, but something they should because of the benefits you get from it.

By helping other people I have learned that you don’t volunteer to make yourself a better person, you volunteer to help others, who will make you the better person. The mission trip I went on taught me life lessons about helping others, even when you don’t have to. The feeling of pride and accomplishment and happiness that you get after helping someone is something that can’t be purchased or taught, it is something that people have to experience themselves in order to know what it truly feels like. That mission trip taught me to always help out, and the lessons I learned in Albany, I will use for the rest of my life.

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