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AmeriCorps VISTA Member Sarah Osborne Reflects on why she Serves

Why do you serve?


The lingering question, like a cloud overhead, growing bigger every day that I continue to walk the path ‘less traveled by.’ I continue to turn this question over, because it has such a complex and complicated answer. It changes depending on my mood that day, the work that I am doing, whether or not I’ve eaten a good breakfast, etc. The general statement I always return to, however, is that service is inherent. Whether or not you claim your daily life as “in service to others,” we all serve each other in some capacity. The small acts of kindness we show each other: a smile on the street, a thank you for a service given, a genuine listening ear given to a friend. Each of these is a small act of service, for both parties- the giver and the receiver.


Why do you serve?


I moved to Tucson last year to work for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, and fell in love.

With food.

            With the people.

                        With the sense of community.

                                    With my friends.

With the idea of showering outside, having chickens in your backyard, and growing your own food.

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I moved here with no family, no set friends, and no idea what sustainability in the food system really meant. Within a few months I had a place to dance, a place to cook amazing food, new friends, and a completely new skill set and passion for food justice. And although I was completing a “year of service” I was the receiver of so much more.




Why do you serve?


As my term was coming to an end I was looking for any way to stay in Tucson. Connections, mutual friends, and the smallness of the Tucson nonprofit world worked all their magic, and provided me with a perfect position. Currently I am serving with the Ben’s Bells Project, a local public art nonprofit here in Tucson, here’s their mission statement:

Our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate each other to realize the impact of intentional kindness and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby strengthening ourselves, our relationships and our communities. 

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Why do you serve?


I serve to strengthen myself. To strengthen my relationships with those around me, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. I serve to create awareness. I believe that the Ben’s Bells Project incorporates the most essential part of why we serve each other. Because it is unavoidable. Human interaction requires service. By being intentionally kind to one another we are in service to ourselves and those we interact with.  


Written by Sarah Osborne, AmeriCorps VISTA Member 

Published on August 29, 2013 by Ben Olsen.

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