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When service doesn’t go according to plan…

Megan Fogarty is a Social Media Intern for the 2016-2017 Youthlinc Service Year. She and four other Interns are traveling to local service sites throughout the year to capture special Youthlinc moments between volunteers and the communities they serve. 

As anyone who has participated in service knows, serving others rarely goes as planned. I was reminded of this unpredictability at the beginning of this month. As social media interns, part of our job is to go with people on our team to their local service sites to take pictures of them with the people that they’re serving. I was planning to meet Megan Running at Williamsburg, a home for the elderly here in Logan. They were having a Valentine’s Day party and we were going to be playing bingo (I know, shocking). When I walked in, I sat next to Megan, but early on in our game she moved across the room to help some people at the other end of our table who couldn’t see their bingo cards very well. In that moment, I probably should have been worrying about how I wasn’t going to be able to get pictures of her when she was that far away from me, but all I could focus on was how much fun I was having helping the ladies sitting next to me play Bingo. I quickly became (embarrassingly) invested in the game, and I was way too concerned with helping my friend Betty put her smarties on the correct tiles to think about taking pictures of anyone. The hour that we were there went by quickly, and I only realized after we had cleaned up that I hadn’t taken any photos.
I don’t remember worrying about taking pictures one time throughout that hour of Bingo. I didn’t worry about it while I was talking to Betty at the beginning of the night about the stuffed animal her grandson gave her for her walker, and I certainly didn’t worry about it when she got Bingo, twice.
I don’t regret not taking pictures that night because I know that I was impacted by those I served. I think my experience at Williamsburg that day reminded me what service is really about, and why I love it so much. Serving others shouldn’t be about documenting the experience, it should be about the people that you’re serving. I think that, all too often, we get wrapped up in this idea that serving others means going to a third world country and building a school, or a house, or cleaning up garbage, but something that is emphasized by Youthlinc is that service is just as admirable when it’s done in our own backyard. I appreciate Youthlinc especially for the importance placed on local service. I believe that anyone who has been on a Youthlinc team can attest that serving results in feelings that are unmatched by anything, and it doesn’t matter where you are in the world.

Blog by Megan Fogarty, 2017 Social Media Intern

Youthlinc

Youthlinc is a Utah-based 501c-3 nonprofit dedicated to creating lifetime humanitarians through local and international service. Learn more about our programs by visiting our website: www.youthlinc.org.

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