Helping Mrs. Greenburg

Describe a significant life experience.


Three years ago, it had never crossed my mind to help people who were not part of my immediate sphere of family and friends. Instead, I adopted a convenient attitude of apathy when it came to service – never imagining that an invitation to volunteer in a local service project would completely redefine my thinking.

At the beginning of the summer of my ninth grade year, I kept myself busy by doing as little as possible. One afternoon, however, a woman from my church called and asked if I would like to help out with a mission project our youth group was doing the next day. I had no idea what to say. I was not exactly thrilled at the idea of spending an entire day in the torrid Georgia heat raking yards and painting houses, but I did not have much else planned. Also, I reasoned it would be an easy way to log some community service hours for the honor society at school. Reluctantly, I agreed to help out with the project.

The next morning I woke up at daybreak and outfitted myself in a pair of old jeans, some ragged work boots, and a baseball cap to keep the sun out – I felt ready to face a hard day’s work. When we arrived at the work site, I was stunned at what I saw. It appeared to be a house, but it was so overrun with weeds,...

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