One Individual's Call to Serve

Senior Sam Charles playing soccer for the Red Knights.

One Individual's Call to Serve

Called to Serve… We hear these words a lot at Benilde St. Margaret’s, but what does that phrase truly mean? For me, as I reflect on my years here, I believe it can best be summed up by the following story.  First, a little background for those that may be unfamiliar. During junior year, we all take a class called “Discipleship in Society.” This class is centered around the theme of giving back to the community through volunteerism. To promote this, the class requires at least 35 hours of service from students, but many, like myself, go well beyond that expectation. Volunteering has always been an important part of my life, whether it’s with my family, sports teams, Boy Scouts or church groups; it’s something I really like to do.

My Call… For Discipleship, I chose an organization called PRISM, which is a local food shelf and thrift shop for those in need. In class, we had the opportunity to look into a variety of different places to find which one would be the best fit. PRISM serves people in my community, and I knew that was something I wanted to be part of.

Early into my service, I was working in the thrift shop and a family walked in. There were four of them – the mom, two daughters probably eight and thirteen, and a 10-year-old boy. The mother was looking for shirts for her daughters. They started browsing, but the boy wandered over to me with a look that said he was beyond tired of shopping. I smiled at him, he gave me a big toothy grin back, and I started a conversation to try and make his wait a little less boring. His name was Darius, and he attends the same elementary school as I did. He’s crazy about football and loves to read, which is a stark contrast to how I was at his age. After talking for a bit longer, I noticed he was wearing football cleats instead of normal tennis shoes so I asked if he had practice later. Darius seemed confused, and I explained I noticed his cleats. He told me they were his only pair of shoes because he’d outgrown his sneakers a while ago. Thinking about how many pairs of shoes I own and don’t wear daily, this shocked me.

Answering the Call… Pausing for a second and feeling helpless that I couldn’t think of how to respond, I then realized I could do something. I asked “What size shoe are you?” Again, giving me a puzzled look he told me he was a size eight. We walked to the back corner of the room where the shoes were kept, and I invited him to pick a pair. That day he walked out of PRISM wearing Nike sneakers and his big toothy grin. That is by far my favorite memory at PRISM.

To me, service means humility, learning and patience. BSM gives me the opportunity to humble myself, to experience new things and learn from them, and it preaches patience and understanding at every turn. My wish is that we all realize we cannot stand on the sidelines and watch; we must believe one person can make a difference. So to all in the BSM community, I ask you to continue to accept the challenge and genuinely embrace the phrase, “Called to Serve!”