The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

January 21, 2014

Our View: Broaden your circle

We all have circles in which we live. Most of our circles include our close friends, family and co-workers.

These are the people with whom we are comfortable. These are our boundaries. And, unless pushed, we rarely step outside the circle.

Jerrod Hogan, one of the founders of Rebuild Joplin, told more than 200 people gathered Monday at Missouri Southern State University to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. that most of our circles don’t include enough people.

His concept is built on his experiences with Rebuild Joplin, a resource and recovery organization created in the aftermath of Joplin’s devastating 2011 tornado. Those first horrible days were followed by weeks and now years of volunteerism and resource building, and the results are that 114 homes have either been built or repaired through the work of many.

King once said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

It’s a question we should ask more often.

Today you have an opportunity to broaden your circle to include people you have never met but who have a need.

From 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., you can sign up for a day or more of service to the Joplin community. The volunteer fair will be held on the second floor of the Billingsly Student Center on the MSSU campus. More than 20 organizations will be on hand, and all are looking for volunteers.

By making room for others in your life, you not only help them but enrich your own universe.

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