By Darrel Nerove

From the Marine Corps to the Peace Corps.  Get Involved!

From the Marine Corps to the Peace Corps —what does that mean?  It is much more than a cool slogan. And it has significant meaning.  There are many different ways we can serve one another and our country. Service matters and it significantly impacts relations between nations, within our own borders, within our communities, and frequently at a very personal level.  Often the person who gains the most from service is the one serving — not only those being served.

When people think of service, they probably think of the military: selfless dedication and ultimate sacrifices. Images of 9/11 and the heroic efforts made by first responders often bring the police force and fire fighters to mind. While these are vitally important, there are also many other equally important ways to serve.  Wearing a uniform is not necessary. Everyone can contribute in big and small ways. The opportunities are limitless

The Peace Corps, the United States Agency for International Development, and many other similar organizations and agencies have significant roles that dramatically impact the lives of so many people around the world; they provide humanitarian services to people in other nations who severely need support.  Likewise, the benefits go well beyond the humanitarian services being provided; they extend to diplomatic benefits and show others that we, as Americans, do care about more than just what is confined inside our borders.  We care about the world.

So, how can you get involved?

There are many local community based service organizations. Churches, the Kiwanis, Rotary Club and Lions Club, just to name a few, offer many options. The local library, advertisements in local newspapers and online portals that are great sources of information about available opportunities

You can’t put a price tag on the value of how good it feels to serve. If you’re considering such service, set some goals. If not, procrastination will likely set in and keep you from serving.  Set a goal to perform at least 10 hours of service in the next year. If that is too much, set the goal at 5 hours; if it is too little, 20 hours.  What is important is to set yourself a goal.  Get out there.  Get involved. Service Matters.