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December 2010 – Service


To be ready to help, or to offer oneself in usefulness.


When you help someone up a hill, you find yourself closer to the top. ~ Brownie Wise

Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he is good at doing. ~ Quincy Jones

When you least feel like it, do something for someone else. You forget about your own situation. It gives you a purpose, as opposed being sorrowful and lonely. ~Dana Reeve

We cannot all see alike, but we can all do good. ~ P.T. Barnum

An essential part of a happy, healthy life is being of service to others. ~ Sue Pattom Thoele

You will rise by lifting others. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. ~ Muhammad Ali

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace…a soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don’t mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die, every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation. ~ Indira Gandhi

Our greatest duty and our main responsibility is to help others. But please, if you can’t help them, would you please not hurt them. ~ Dalai Lama

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. ~ Douglas Adams

If in my high moments, I have done some good, offered some service, shed some light, healed some wounds, rekindled some hope, or stirred someone from apathy and indifference, or in any way along the way helped somebody, then this campaign has not been in vain…If in my low moments, in word, deed or attitude, through some error of temper, taste or tone, I have caused anyone discomfort, created pain or revived someone’s fears, that was not my truest self…I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient. God is not finished with me yet. ~ Jesse Jackson

If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another. ~ Winston Churchill

Service Activity Ideas

  • Help someone in our community who doesn’t speak English to learn
    • Contact the ESL Center at 801-328-5608
  • Volunteer in our South Salt Lake Afterschool programs at the Hser Ner Moo Center, Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, or Granite Park Jr. High
    • Contact the SSL Recreation Department at 801-412-3217
  • Join SSL Neighborhood Watch
    • Contact South Salt Lake Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Jerry Silva at 801-412-3650
  • Become a boxing coach, referee, or mentor
    • Contact the SSL PAL Pete Suazo Boxing Gym 801-466-3143
  • Organize a neighborhood cleanup project
    • Contact Lisa Park at 801-412-3226
  • Read with a child
    • Contact the Utah Commission on Literacy at 801-560-7675
  • Assist seniors with special projects
    • Contact Penny White at the Columbus Senior Center at 801-412-3297
  • Planting flowers, trees, shrubs/work with our community refugee gardens projects
    • Call Salt Lake County Refugee Services Liaison, Ze Xiao at 801-518-5530


The Brick

About ten years ago, a young and very successful executive named Josh was traveling down a Chicago neighborhood street. He was going a bit too fast in his sleek, black, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE, which was only two months old.

He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no child darted out, but a brick sailed out and – WHUMP! – it smashed Into the Jag’s shiny black side door! SCREECH..!!!! Brakes slammed! Gears ground into reverse, and tires madly spun the Jaguar back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. Josh jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car. He shouted at the kid, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!” Building up a head of steam, he went on. “That’s my new Jag, that brick you threw is gonna cost you a lot of money. Why did you throw it?”

“Please, mister, please. . . I’m sorry! I didn’t know what else to do!” Pleaded the youngster. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop!” Tears were dripping down the boy’s chin as he pointed around the parked car. “It’s my brother, mister,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the young executive tried desperately to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. Straining, he lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be OK. He then watched the younger brother push him down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE -a long and slow walk. Josh never did fix the side door of his Jaguar. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at him to get his attention. Some bricks are softer than others…feel for the bricks of life coming at to you.

A Little Bit of Home in Afghanistan

Karen Ehlert is sure “it’s pretty darn cold’ in the mountains of Afghanistan in the winter. With her 27-year-old son, Ted, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Karen decided she wanted to help his squad.

She received an email from Ted with an idea – knitted helmet liners. They cover the head and neck, leaving only the eyes and nose exposed. “They are not exactly a fashion statement, but I can imagine they’re nice and warm” Karen said. “I do a lot of sewing, a lot of crafting, and I don’t think he knew I couldn’t knit,” Karen commented of her son’s suggestion.

Her first reaction was one of compliance – she wanted to do the knitting project because it was a need identified by her son. But her second reaction was more practical, “how the heck am I going to do that?” she asked. “About 40 years ago I learned enough to try to knit a sweater and learned enough to know I can’t knit.” But she decided that if that’s what her son says he needs, she would find a way to provide.

So, Karen, who recently turned 65, decided to use her organizational skills to pull this off. She recruited accomplished knitters and was granted $1,000 from the local Rotarians for the wool yarn. To date, 130 helmet liners have been collected at the local RSVP office.

“I think it’s a great thing what Ted is doing,” Karen commented. “I’m just supporting our troops however I can do it”.