Fighting Poverty with Passion
Throughout the year, many different organizations within the city of New Orleans host events to advocate for a cause that is relevant to the city’s needs. On November 12, 2016, the YMCA hosted a second line and 5k race to address the high illiteracy rate in New Orleans. This non-profit is committed to helping people and communities learn, grow, and thrive.
A lot of people volunteered for this event. The volunteers were diverse in age and ethnicity. I was a volunteer at this event. We were all assigned different tasks. I helped with set up and I helped to serve free jambalaya from Acme Oyster House. It was so delicious! I’d like to say that Acme Oyster House has some of the best jambalaya I have ever tasted.
While myself, and a couple other people were helping to serve the jambalaya, someone who happened to know one of the volunteers, walked up and asked her if she was serving to get community service hours. Even though this may have seem like a normal conversation that anyone could of had, for me it was not. Immediately, after this had happened I had began to dissect the conversation.
I thought it was interesting that this individual had the perspective that doing service was just something you do to get hours. Even though, this is mostly how we see volunteer service starting out, especially when one is told to have a certain amount of hours to either graduate or do in response to bad behavior I hope that people will come to realize that doing service should not just be about the number of service hours you get but instead about the impact that is made within that time not just personally but also for other people.
What I appreciate most about service is that it allows people to fill empowered about the difference that they are making at that moment. It allows you to meet people from different places around the world.
What I enjoyed most about the YMCA 5k was that it created an environment for people who believed in the same cause to come together and do something about it. Most importantly, it portrayed the importance of public and private relationships that are needed to rebuilt New Orleans. In fact, this is something that the city of New Orleans is aiming to do in order to bring back a stronger and sustainable New Orleans.