Service has always played an important role in my life. I can recall countless times that I have been involved in community volunteering. As a younger child, I remember always helping with different ministries and volunteering opportunities with my church as well as with my school. Among other things, we would rake peoples’ yards, shovel snow out of driveways, help in soup kitchens, and clean up parks. When I got into high school, I took the initiative to serve my community in different ways. I started volunteering at a nearby barn to help with the therapeutic lesson program that they had. Community service was — and is — a part of who I am.
Not everyone participates in community service, especially in this busy age; it takes a certain individual to sacrifice their time with no other reward than that of helping other people. I believe service is not only good for the community, those we help, but it is also good for those doing the volunteering. As Kotaku Wamura said, “A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help others.” Through service, we can learn more about ourselves and the world around us.
Heartland Horse Heroes
Since coming to Longwood University, I have really put a lot of focus on volunteering with Heartland Horse Heroes. In my first week at Longwood, I attended the Honors College retreat, and one part of that was volunteering with Heartland Horse Heroes. Since that day of service, I have not stopped going there. Heartland partners with two local county school groups, Cumberland County Schools and Buckingham County Schools, to help children with special needs. I have been going to Heartland every Friday since coming to Longwood to help with the Buckingham students. Rain or shine those kids are always there and are ready to learn and spend time with the horses. I look forward to seeing their faces each week, as I help them learn to ride the horses. I love seeing their joy when they learn to trot or they throw a ring over a pole and make it. Volunteering with Heartland Horse Heroes is a one-of-a-kind experience, and one that I would not trade for the world.