Day three of service and the time spent at Community Servings is still flying by. It is hard to believe that we only have one more day to spend with these wonderful people who devote so much time, energy, and emotion to others in the most graceful of ways. The word “graceful” may not be the most common adjective used in association with community service, but for me, it has become a surprising prevalent theme for this trip.

The idea was first brought up by a volunteer at Community Servings. This person volunteers most days out of the week along with working professionally in a hospice. Surprisingly, what frustrates them the most are the assumptions made by others (patients, other volunteers, outsiders, etc.) that they only do what they do because it is their job. And I understood what they were trying to say.

The golden rule states “do unto other as you would have them do unto you.” In this context, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of those we are serving, which is exactly how we spent this evening’s reflection. We discussed our own agency (in brief: ability) and thought about what our lot would be if we were HIV positive. When placing myself in the shoes of someone who receives meals from Community Servings, I would not like to feel like a charity case, a burden on society.

And that is what the volunteer was telling me. We should serve with pure intentions; not out of pity or to build our own reputations, but because we genuinely want to help people have better lives. This mindset shows through the actions of many of the workers at Community Servings. They really put thought into everything they do and can be meticulous to the point of perfection.

I am sad that tomorrow is our last day here, but have appreciated every second.