Why helping others through service is good for your own health!

Helping others through service has many significant benefits to your own mental health. Giving of yourself to others helps you think less about the stressors in your life and allows you to give more attention to how you are alleviating some of the hardships others are facing. This, in turn, improves how you think about yourself, about the value you bring to those around you and provides a sense of accomplishment. This article highlights 21 dedicated men who benefited mentally because of their commitment to helping others through service.



Image Created by Bro. Gene Toodle - Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.


Article written by: Bro. Kelvin Abney


On June 6th, 2022, 16 brothers from TAU chapter accompanied by five friends traveled to Cartagena, Colombia to extend service beyond our borders. Mission trips are a life-changing experience, regardless of your background. The idea to provide service internationally was an extension of the chapter’s May 1 centennial celebration.

Most members had little knowledge about Colombia and its culture and after careful research, we educated ourselves about a town called Palenque. Ironically, I must point out the “QUE” in the name "PalenQUE.Palenque is a small town about an hour’s drive outside of Cartagena where we were staying. Upon arrival at our living quarters, we were greeted with delicious food and drink prepared by local chefs. Imagine eating authentic Colombian homemade meals prepared by chefs for a week! After settling in and eating our meals we created our service plan.


HISTORY LESSON

The following day we traveled to San Basilio de Palenque by bus with a tour guide that educated us about the town’s history. The community began in 1619, when Domingo Biohó led a group of about 30 African runaway slaves into the forests and defeated those that attempted to subdue them. Palenque was the first free African town in the America ’s and survives to this day due to the resistance of oppression from Spain. We saw houses of mud, farm animals and a very old grave site believed to be approximately 400 years old.




PROVIDING SERVICE

Our first stop after entering the town was a short walk to the local school where we were greeted by the school principal and about 75 young children from the community. The children were excited that we were there and we spent quality time with every child to learn more about their experience and to promote the importance of a good education. Shortly after, I gave a short speech on behalf of the group to thank the community for preserving an important link of African history and inviting us into their town with open arms. We then presented the children with books, school supplies, clothes and footwear, hygiene products and toys. I became overwhelmed with emotion at witnessing how grateful and thankful the kids were when we presented them with the gifts. Their smiles and hugs of affection reminded me of how acts of kindness can change the life of a person and especially a child. I was thinking that I just wanted to do more to help as I embraced the moment.






FUN

After departing the school, we visited the statue of Domingoa Bioho, took photos and paid our respects to his courage and dogmatism for being a freedom fighter. We were then taken to a small building where we participated in a live dance and drum session led by young men and women of the community. The performance was top rate and we were invited to participate in dancing and even playing the drums.






BUILDING LIFELONG RELATIONSHIPS

We left Palenque and headed back to our lodging where we broke bread and discussed our experience. The brothers were still in amazement about how the visit to Palenque positively impacted them and they felt charged to increase levels of service worldwide. Bro. Roderick Wilkerson, Bro. Alex Malone and Bro. Kelvin Hall led a discussion about the importance of how members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity have always been pioneers of service around the world and what we have done at Palenque is a continuation of what the founding members of the fraternity envisioned and expected from all Omega men. Additionally, we deepened our conversation about the fate of black men and women in our own communities and how we must involve ourselves like we did in the town of Palenque to make a positive impact. Each member agreed to a plan of action after hours of deliberation and we pledged to implement them after the trip.


Our time in Colombia was extraordinary and our service in Palenque was the highlight of the entire trip. One thing that made the experience so special is that a group of like-minded men came together unselfishly for a cause greater than themselves.





Long live men of service and Omega Psi Phi ‘til’ the day we die!


LINKS:

Video Link: Created by Bro. Reggie Huff - TAU Chapter. youtu.be/qz_bTto0qFE


Video Link: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPdxVhTCQuDGx3WdBYTGQhpNjgrqE_ESL_gGIU5UXZ1v2OOMtixYZmx9LfyvMD43Q?key=OENlTE0xeENmTEVxNHZrN3Q1TmxLNE9SSHg4eGVB



Follow TAU Chapter Ques: https://thunderintau.com/ques.htm



Follow TAU Chapter Ques: https://thunderintau.com/ques.htm







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