ENID, Okla. — Making a better place
All three pointed to a desire to help people as their prime motivation for volunteering, a message Peralez received at a young age.
“My dad told me when I was a kid, he said, ‘If you’re not helping people, you’re not making the world a better place for someone else, then what are you doing? You’re wasting your life, you’re being selfish,’” Peralez said. “I think that was one of the things that hit home. Every opportunity you get to help someone makes you feel good.”
“I like to see the impact of it all,” said Smokovitz, “especially working with first-graders. They come in there and they don’t have a clue how to count or do anything, and a couple of weeks down the road they’re getting better at it and they’re picking those things up.”
For Jones, her volunteering spirit stems in part from her faith.
“The Bible talks about loving your neighbor as yourself and spreading God’s love and doing good for others,” she said. “You can never go wrong by helping other people out and putting other people before yourself.
“Helping other people and even seeing a smile on their face can change my entire day. It can change their entire day, and you never know when they are going to pay it forward to somebody else, just because they were shown an act of kindness. It’s kind of a beautiful thing.”