Have you ever been to a sporting event where the crowd does the "wave?" Basically, one section of people in the stadium or arena stands up with their hands in the air and slowly sits down as the next section stands. This action is repeated as a "wave" through the entire crowd and then starts over again.

Similarly, we can start a "wave" of service. It only needs to start with one person - you.

Service starts with one person

One person can make a difference through service. As you serve others, not only will you be able to find more ways to serve, but others may take notice and decide to serve by your side. Try:

  • Helping someone in need.

  • Cooking meals for a family who is having a hard time.

  • Taking care of your neighbor's children so she can go to the store.

  • Even a simple smile or hello can go a long way.

Involve your family

Children of all ages can not only serve others, but often are eager to take action. Teaching your children while they are young will help them catch the wave of service early in life. Have family service days or evenings when you help a family in your neighborhood or community. Ideas include:

  • Visit a local park or other area and pick up litter.

  • Rake leaves in your neighborhood.

  • Wash your neighbor's car.

  • Clean windows for a neighbor.

  • Assist the elderly or widows with yard work.

Gather your neighbors to help serve

Many hands make light work. The same is true in service. Maybe there are families in your neighborhood that cannot do yard work or house work because of physical limitations, or other circumstances. This is a great opportunity to work together to accomplish something great. People have varying skills and can help with trees, lawns, roofing, fences, painting or cleaning. Suggestions:

  • Paint over neighborhood graffiti.

  • Remove litter from around your neighborhood.

  • Help neighbors (especially the elderly or widows) with yard work or other house needs.

  • Build a neighborhood park.

Organize a community day of service

This can just be a day set aside to encourage everyone to serve the community, or be more organized with various projects. Team with city officers to do projects such as:

  • Graffiti removal.

  • Trash clean up.

  • Beautification projects.

  • Work together to create something needed within the community.

  • Collect food or other donations for local shelters.

Work with churches or other organizations to find service opportunities

Many non-profit organizations and churches have ongoing service initiatives. Some of these may include traveling to another country to provide sanitary water, improve living conditions, building homes or making and delivering other forms of humanitarian aid. These are great forms of service where feasible physically and financially.

Service does not have to be hard or extensively time consuming

It can be as simple as helping others you see who need assistance. Thomas S. Monson, a religious leader, has said, "Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save."

Look for people who could use a helping hand, those who need a listening ear, or those who simply need some encouraging words. As we serve, others will follow our lead. More often, it is the one who is serving rather than the one being served who benefits the most. Others will see the happiness it brings you to serve and will likewise be inspired to join in - creating a wave of service.

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