Service before self is a mantra we tend to repeat but not always in a truly positive manner. I often hear it as an exasperated sigh when someone volunteers or is “voluntold” for an event.
The true spirit of this mantra really came out at the Boston Marathon relief run that took place in May. It was a base-wide fundraising event for the One Fund Boston Organization that was in essence put on at the last minute.
Shortly after the incident in Boston we decided to do a fundraising event to help the victims of the attack. Putting on such an event was no small task. Members of LEAD Council, Focus 56 and Top 3 worked together to advertise, organize and put on an event to benefit people Luke members had only heard about. The Chiefs’ group offered to do a burger burn. Local supermarkets and others pitched in. We wanted nothing more than to help. That is the core of service before self.
So many do volunteer events just for our enlisted performance reports, but it’s events like this one that show by example what real volunteerism is about. On the day of the event, many of us organizing it had to take off work early in order to set up in time for a 5 p.m. start. People from our various shops covered for us. Then people started showing up early, looking forward to donating their time and money. Teams were formed to jointly run a total of 26 miles.
The Massachusetts flag flew around the track carried by LEAD Council members at the start of the run and was passed to others throughout the run.
A few intrepid runners even completed a half marathon on their own.
The spirit of giving and support was alive and well throughout the entire event. In the end, we raised $1,331 for the One Fund Boston organization. If anything can be taken from this it’s that good times can come from doing good things for the benefit of others.