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Called to kindness: ways to serve your community on and off campus

By Zanelle Willemse | February 22, 2023

We’ve all heard it before; flashing a smile at someone or saying “hi” or even giving a simple compliment goes a long way to make someone’s day. An added bonus is the boost of serotonin!

According to the Sisters of St. Mary Hospital and Health System, “Physiologically, kindness can positively change your brain. Being kind boosts serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that give you feelings of satisfaction and well-being and cause the pleasure/reward centers in your brain to light up.”

Beyond simple gestures, acts of service also spread kindness. Being on campus might make you feel limited at times, but there’s no need to go above and beyond. Something as simple as cleaning up after yourself in the dining hall or common areas around campus can prove to be more than enough.

This one might push you a little out of your comfort zone but keep an open mind here; I know some of you can relate to the feeling of discomfort when you walk into a crowded area by yourself. You almost start to feel flustered and like everyone is watching and judging you. Now think about that when you see someone sitting alone in the cafeteria. Some might prefer to sit alone, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can join them for the meal. The worst that can happen is they say no! And in joining someone for a meal, you provide some companionship to them and can make their whole day.

There are also opportunities off campus to volunteer that will cost you nothing but a small portion of time out of your day. Some of these places include:

  • Helping Hands of Goose Creek
    • Food bank in Goose Creek
    • 843-553-7132 for more information or to apply
  • Charleston Animal Society
    • On-site volunteering includes interacting with and caring for the animals in the shelter, helping with cleaning duties around the shelter and assisting in the spay/neuter clinic
    • Off-site volunteering includes helping with adoptions and special events and helping transport animals for medical transportation purposes
    • Located in North Charleston between the airport and Hanahan
    • Click here to apply to be a volunteer

The Bible teaches us to be kind and to not only be servants for the Lord, but also for each other. CSU strives to follow these principles through our vision of integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.

Below are some Bible verses for thought as we strive to be servants for the Lord and for each other.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
ROMANS 12:13
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Zanelle Willemse is a senior communication major and is a spring 2023 intern with the Office of Marketing & Communication.

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