Written by Rotaract Oshkosh member, Candice M. Lane.
Growing up, I was never the one involved in clubs and service organizations like so many of my peers. My parents never pushed for Student Council Presidency; straight A’s were not my forte, and I failed at every frivolous fundraiser I attempted. Skip to my college years: Same lack of effort. Whether it was failure to commit or a continuous attempt to hide from the unknown, I let efforts to do or try more fall to the wayside.
When I was approached to be a part of Rotaract Oshkosh, I felt the initial fear again; what if I fail? What if I am not as involved as everyone else; will that show a lack of commitment? But, despite it all, I began signing up here and there for times I would be able to give back.
That’s when I started to realize a change: A change in maturity and a change in thinking. For once, it wasn’t about the fear of failing because, in my mind, even one hour of helping was 60 more minutes of holding the hand of someone who needed it. It meant 60 less minutes of living only for me. Sixty less minutes of the bar scene; 60 less minutes of mind-sucking television shows, and 60 more minutes for me to simply be me by helping someone else.
A few weeks ago I was approached by a friend as to the meaning of Rotaract. Before I could give my definition rather than the one she found on Google, she was already exclaiming, “You think you can change the world? Get real.” At first disheartened by the fool she made me appear to be, I came to peace with that statement one evening at the food pantry.
In my heart, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to change the world with one evening, but I could change me. I could change my thinking towards the importance of 60 minutes. I could change the heavy load weighing on this particular pantry, bogged down by boxes and boxes of food donations. For 60 minutes, I could ease the stress of one pantry, this pantry, this community…and the people in this community who need this pantry.
Have I completely thrown myself into volunteering? No, but I have made a step towards volunteering more. My participation in Rotaract Oshkosh likely won’t change the world, but this group is doing things to help change the community—and I’m a part of that.
The next opportunity to volunteer at the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry is 5-7 pm on Monday, 1 April. If you would like to participate, please join the event on Facebook or send a note to [email protected]