The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Giving back to the community goes beyond material things

HCSS Staff. Courtesy Photo



Growing up, the importance of giving back was always stressed to me. However, it wasn’t until recently that I understood what giving meant.

My experience with giving matches that of many teenagers and young adults. I’ve done the typical canned food drives, rang the Salvation Army Bell and wrapped presents for the Giving Tree at Christmas. When there were opportunities to give back to my community, I tried to take them. But I never sought them out.

Part of this had to do with the needs in my community that were not apparent to me. It was hard to recognize the people who needed help within my rural area.

Also, the volunteering I did never allowed me to see the effects it was having and who I was helping. On the inside, I didn’t grasp that my efforts were helping someone since I couldn’t witness that part of the process.

I wasn’t aware of how much it goes beyond money, food or clothing. Hastings Catholic Social Services changed my perspective.

I was led to Hastings Catholic Social Services to complete a volunteer requirement for the Honors Program. While there, I helped run the cashier at their thrift store, unload and organize donations and hand out sack lunches.

While at Hastings Catholic Social Services, I saw the need in my community for the first time. It was evident to me how much their services were needed and appreciated. They provided the basic necessities of life but also much more. 

Visitors socialized with those in line while waiting to pick up their sack lunches. Thrift store customers greeted me with a smile at the cash register. In those small moments, I saw that their time at Hastings Catholic Social Services wasn’t just about getting a meal.

They were seeking more.

Physically, the visitors might have needed the basic necessities of life, but their desires ran past that. The volunteers provided them with those desires for connection, support and love — things that everyone, rich or poor, needs and seeks.

I’ve learned that giving to others surpasses providing materially. Money or food is easier to give, but sometimes what is really needed is a supporter.

The people I worked with at Hastings Catholic Social Services showed me what this looks like. What it means to be selfless and to give to others through giving themselves.

I hope to be like them when I grow up.

Giving on this level, emotionally and relationally, can be daunting. It’s not as simple as writing a check or dropping off non-perishable food items. Yet, it’s the most relatable level we can give on.

Whether or not it’s seen, everyone we come in contact with is in need of something. We are all humans, and we desire the same things. It doesn’t matter if one can’t provide materially for others because we need more than that. What’s beautiful is that we can provide for others simply by giving ourselves.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *