Monday, April 13, 2015

The Greatest Gift of All

Service.  It's a word that's used a lot these days by lots of different people.

The U.S. military, local community groups, national volunteer organizations, and religious groups of almost every denomination routinely cite the importance of service--to the country, to the world, to one's neighbors, to the poor, to humanity at large--as one of the most valuable activities a person can engage in.

They're right, of course: Service, in all its forms, is the greatest gift you can give.  For it affirms your belief in something larger than your own needs.  Whatever its nature or duration, service involves putting your own routine on hold and making someone else's life a priority. 

Service is such an important activity, especially in our time, that come this Wednesday, a good portion of the NCC campus will put aside their business and spend the day serving others.  Students, faculty, administration, and staff will come together on April 15 and devote a morning and/or afternoon (or maybe both) to doing something good for other people.

That "something" will take many forms: collecting food, clothing, toiletries, household goods, and even pet supplies for those who need them; making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Mary Brennan INN; giving away books to anyone who wants one; providing free and confidential counseling services to post 9/11 veterans and their loved ones; planting flowers and shrubs on campus; cleaning the nearby Hempstead Plains; collecting recycled cell phones for soldiers overseas; selling homemade cakes and pastries to benefit breast cancer research; making get-well cards for hospitalized kids; painting a miniature house in support of Habitat for Humanity--and more. There'll be more than fifty service projects and activities happening in the College Center and other locations on campus.

And they all need your presence and participation.

I know, I know--you're busy with school and work and term papers and everything else that's happening this semester.  You're probably feeling a little tired these days.  And besides, free time is scarce, especially as the spring term winds down.

Still, people need you. 

And people are important.  Right?

So join us.  Come on over to the CCB bright and early on Wednesday, sign up for a project, and have breakfast with the First-Year Experience Committee, the Long Island Volunteer Center, the Center for Service Learning, and a whole bunch of other folks at NCC who've worked hard to make this terrific event happen. Then you can spend some time with the service project of your choice--making a sandwich for somebody who's hungry, buying (and eating!) a cookie to support cancer research, making a card for a sick kid in a hospital, painting a brick so Habitat for Humanity can keep building houses for the poor, or doing something else that feels good and makes sense.  And at about 4 p.m. or so, come on back to the second floor of the CCB for a celebration of the day. 

Making the world just a little better and brighter: What a great way to spend part of your Wednesday.

See you there.  We'll hold a seat at breakfast for you.