This past week a group of students from Carroll Community College reached out to Target Community and Educational Services, Inc., seeking an opportunity to fulfill a requirement of their Physical Therapy Assistant program. The curriculum requires a community service project. The three young men hoped to partner with Target on a project that would benefit the agency. We met to discuss requirements and opportunities. After a productive conversation, we came to the idea that they could learn about our residential programs and the clients we serve towards the end of developing a physical activity program to introduce not only exercise but physical movement with an eye on preventing future injury. Their ‘leave beyond’ product is a resource that will not only benefit the individuals with whom they have direct contact but future individuals who engage in Target services. They also seek to open a door to future service project opportunities for students who will follow them in the program at Carroll.
Service to others is one of our basic human obligations. A responsibility we each hold towards the benefit of ‘the others.’ Service is not merely a transactional exchange. It is not one party giving to another, but an act of giving and receiving. Service learning is a prime example of this reciprocity. When we serve another, we gain an experience that in the best case will fulfill not only the need to serve but teach us something about ourselves and the communities of which we are members.
Target relies on service as a core value. Our mission to enhance the lives of others is rooted in service. Our partnerships with other agencies, individuals, and organizations result in a collaboration that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Many cultures articulate the belief that there is no other. That when good is done for another, that good is a benefit to the whole of society. Certainly, that belief unfolds in the service in which we engage. Through Target’s mission, when an individual with a disability has greater access to the community, the community is improved. When another community chooses to collaborate with Target the impact multiplies. We are grateful that individuals like those we met with this week see the value of Target’s work and seek to join us in the fulfillment of our mission.