We asked the entire national service community to share their #ChangedbyService stories. Here’s a great submission from Ryan Arthur on how he was inspired to serve with City Year:
On Sunday, May 22, 2011, at 5:34pm, my life and city I called home for nearly 9 years changed forever. An E-F5 tornado reaching wind speeds of over 200mph tore through Joplin, Missouri leaving a path of destruction over 6 miles long and a mile wide. For months following the tornado, myself and countless volunteers from all over the country worked alongside AmeriCorps members to help rebuild Joplin. I remember being given detailed instructions by AmeriCorps members while I answered phone calls for the missing persons hotline. I remember being directed by AmeriCorps members while unloading cars and trucks filled with supplies to help victims of the tornado. I remember working on teams, led by AmeriCorps members, to pick up debris left by the tornado. Most of all, I remember seeing how organized the volunteering efforts became once the people wearing the white patch with the “A” showed up.
Today, I’m proud to say I wear the same AmeriCorps patch, building teams of City Year AmeriCorps members to serve our nation’s most at-risk schools. I’ve learned that the power of national service is far greater than any natural disaster. It’s a way for people of all ages, races, backgrounds, and beliefs to come together and work toward a common goal. It’s an opportunity to be a part of something much larger than yourself. National service is how each of us can use the compassion we have in our heart to be a catalyst for change and make our country stronger.