written by City Year Columbus AmeriCorps member
The purpose of service is to build a Beloved Community. A Beloved Community, as defined by Dr. Martin Luther King, is a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings. Through service we, the diverse collection of people, work to supply solutions to the world's most pressing national issues. To encourage Americans to be more active in this work of improving the issues in our nation as well as our individual communities, Congress created a national day of service. That national day of service is called the MLK Day of Service, and it is held every year on the third Monday of January.
It is important to serve on MLK day to help improve our communities, but if you truly understand the importance of service, you know that it’s important to serve on more than just that one day a year. Service is important because it is an effective way to connect and engage with your neighbors. Through service in your communities, you can learn the rich, local history, as well as the true struggles and needs of the people in that community. In addition, improving our communities leads to the improvement of our society overall.
I find my service with City Year very important. I never experienced the same challenges my students often face. I never struggled in school and always had a support system to help me with my work. I serve because I know my students are bright and talented and deserve the same opportunities I had. I lived in Columbus for the first 18 years of my life and I never knew the severity of some of the issues prevalent in our community. I may have gone a lot longer not ever knowing the issues they deal with daily and their needs had I not chosen to serve with City Year. This is why I sincerely believe in the importance of service and the powerful impact it can have.