Posted by Nicole Ardovino


Service to me means giving back to others, with the only personal gain being the satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment of knowing you did a good deed. Those who provide services to others gain a view of the world that others cannot see. They understand what people unlike themselves go through, and get a much better understanding of the world around them. Before college, I actively provided service to others. My proudest act of service would without a doubt be my annual participation in the Easter egg hunt that my neighborhood ran. Starting in fifth or sixth grade, I would help whoever was in charge of the event stuff the plastic eggs with candy or toys, and eventually help hide the eggs around our neighborhood park. After many years of completing this activity, I eventually asked for the opportunity to run the egg hunt myself. My junior year of high school, I was in charge of using the money from the HOA to buy the egg contents for the neighborhood, as well as planning and running the entire event. It filled me with joy to see all of the children within my neighborhood have the biggest smiles on their faces while they searched for my many plastic eggs. I ran the egg hunt again in my senior year of high school, and passed the job down to someone new since I no longer live at home during the Easter season.

During my time at Longwood, I have encountered many different forms of community service. This past year, Farmville faced several very powerful ice storms during the winter months. Because of this, many Farmville residents lost power for up to a week, making it difficult for them to go about their daily lives and more specifically, have access to warm meals. The Longwood community was quick to come up with a solution, asking for students to go help deliver food supplies to those who had lost their power that week. A few of my friends and I were quick to volunteer, and had a fantastic time helping the town of Farmville and meeting some of the residents in the process.

My freshman year, I volunteered at the local food pantry FACES, which was recommended to me by my honors mentor. Within my first week in Farmville, the honors college allowed its students to travel to a nearby horse farm, where we were assigned jobs to do around the farm and help their small business. I was lucky enough to be assigned to painting the horse stalls. I was able to enter the stalls while the horses were still inside, and paint their metal bars on the walls of their little home. The horse that I was with was very curious to see what I was doing, and I had so much fun petting it while I fixed up their stall. Although I had no personal gain from this experience, helping the owners and spending time with the horses was an experience I will never forget. The honors college introduced me to so many opportunities to help others, and I am so excited to encounter more opportunities like the ones I already experienced.

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