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Controversial Service

This year, advocacy groups have been given the noble task of serving the community in some way. Most advocacy groups are serving food to the poor, and some are even constructing houses for the homeless. However, I question what some of the advocacy groups are doing, such as working with the humane society. Are there not enough problems plaguing our community, that some groups cannot figure out ways to help the people around them? It should be everyone’s top priority to help out the less fortunate, before we even consider other projects.

You will all recall that at the assembly, we heard about what one group did at the animal shelter. True, they did help the shelter by doing some paperwork, but where is the satisfaction that one derives from doing community service? Is this really a community service project, playing with dogs and doing a little bit of paperwork? This is what I mean when I say that we need to have our priorities set straight. Some people take the attitude that it is safe to say that there are enough volunteers for the homeless, so they

can do something else. However, their thinking is flawed, as our community can use more help, as the problems in our society continue to grow.

When I hear what other advocacy groups are doing, I am truly impressed. Some groups are tutoring children at local schools. In this, you are able to see the effects of your time and dedication, as you will see how much the child has improved under your help. After realizing this, you will have a good feeling that you have made a difference in somebody’s life. However, can the same thing be said about playing with dogs in the animal shelter? True, you might have helped out the shelter, but you really have not made a large difference to anyone, or even to the animals. Some advocacy groups are doing things like erecting homes for the homeless. This is another project where the people who are volunteering are able to see the fruit of their labor, as the new homeowner showers everyone with praise and thanks. To see that person’s life change, and to realize that you had a part in helping that person out, is probably the best feeling a person can ever have. Is there any change in the dog’s environment, after you have played with it? No -- instead it will be led back to the cage that it was first in when you arrived.

I am not saying that I am not a proponent of helping out animals, but why decide to help out animals instead of the less fortunate that are right in our community? This attitude that “someone else will be doing this project” is a problem that must be solved. There is no such thing as having too many volunteers. All it shows is that a lot of people desire to see everyone living in some sort of comfort.

by Ramesh Srinivasan

This page created for The Subterranean Crusader by John W. Earl. Last modified January 28, 1996.