A Reflection on Junior Service
By: John Kiebler

Forty hours of service may sound overwhelming at first. Considering the rather long period of time you have to complete this, these forty hours can very easily fly over your head. As I found out with my experience, this was true. With all the time presented to me, I waited until there were only two months left to begin the majority of my hours. It is because of my own experience trying to complete my hours over those few months that I can say this easily: Get your hours done early! Getting your hours out of the way early is a really smart idea considering the later you get in the year, the more work will be presented to you and finishing your hours early can and will take a lot of stress off your shoulders. Instead of scrambling last minute to find the right place to volunteer, as I did, do yourself a favor now by considering Happy Helpers for the Homeless.

The Sunday setup for Happy Helpers at Our Daily Bread.

Happy Helpers is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that serves to feed and shelter the homeless. Every Sunday, Happy Helpers meets at the 7/11 in Glen Burnie on Quarterfield Road to carpool to Our Daily Bread in Baltimore. When we arrive at Our Daily Bread we begin the food service. The line to get in winds its way outside as I help set up the various stations: canned food, drinks, sandwiches, snacks, clothes, taking tickets, etc. Personally, I enjoyed all of the jobs because no matter what job I had, I always got a ‘hello’ from the people coming in. For me, this took away any of the stereotypes I had of the homeless and gave me a genuine experience that I won’t forget. Besides my usual work at Happy Helpers on Sundays, for extra hours, I would show up at the same 7/11 in Glen Burnie on Saturdays to help load the trucks with all the food that the organization gives away. Happy Helpers also gives out bagged lunches in Glen Burnie on Saturdays.

hh-braclets.jpgEven now, although I don’t need any hours, I’ll go to Happy Helpers on Sunday because you always meet great people, and you always know you’re making a difference. I plan on going to Happy Helpers to complete my senior hours because of the experience that I had during my junior year. If you have any questions, talk to me, or contact Happy Helpers directly via their website.

John Kiebler is currently a junior at Mount Saint Joseph High School.

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