As a Richter Center Ambassador, I am charged with the honorable duty of sharing the value and importance of service to the community among my peers at Fresno State. With this responsibility comes a certain degree of freedom to spread my passion for service work and the avenue which I most often find myself taking is one in which my actions speak louder than my words. I was raised to believe that, at the end of the day, it is that which a man or woman has accomplished in the pursuit of some higher purpose that speaks for itself, not the explanations, excuses, or promises to do better next time that should do the talking.
When I speak with students , clubs and organizations on campus, or faculty/staff/administration about the need for active volunteerism in and around the Fresno community I always stress that while it is a good start to think about ways in which you can serve and “try on” (so to speak) a few service sites, some of the most rewarding service work comes from a sustained commitment to one or two organizations. I find that many of my favorite, most enriching experiences as a volunteer have come from my on-going commitment to the Bulldog Food Pantry. The Pantry provides food for more than 200 families every week and every weekend volunteers from the Fresno State community gather to pack bags of food and distribute them to our many clients. I get a sense of satisfaction every Friday afternoon, when I join the truck convoy that picks up the food from the Community Food Bank and delivers to the Pantry because I realize that my efforts, insignificant as they are in the grand scheme of the benevolent machine that is the Pantry, are appreciated by many. My available time to volunteer at the Pantry has decreased as the years go by, but I still make it a point to lend a hand whenever and wherever possible because I believe in the work of the Pantry and I want the world to become as passionate as I am about their mission. I choose to ‘walk the walk’ and find it to be very satisfying.
Now, as a word of encouragement: Let your actions sing your praises as a leader in service! Take pride in the fact that you are a leader in community engagement! Know that your generosity and selflessness are directly benefitting and improving the lives’ of your fellow Fresnans (and beyond)! As Jan and Bud Richter, whose philanthropy and desire to instill positive change in the Fresno community by providing a means for students at Fresno State to learn firsthand the importance of being a champion of service, said during the dedication ceremony of the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning in November of 2007, “We believe that this Center will help foster a set of values and habits in Fresno State students that are similar to the motto that we have tried to live by, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.” What is implied here, of course, is that action must be taken to ‘do unto others’. So what are you waiting for? Find that special place to serve that enriches your life and brings you satisfaction, then keep up the good work!
For more information about the Bulldog Pantry, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is your service passion? Where do you like to regularly volunteer your time in order to make an impact?