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Amanda Marks Serves The Moment Through Her Passion For Creativity

I’ve always seen the world as a canvas — not blank, but already ripe and wrought with art just waiting to be seen, admired, and listened to. Around every corner is a story to be found, even something as simple as a little red cup or a door left open a crack. So, when Serve The Moment* introduced me to an organization called Arts For LA, I could immediately tell that it was a perfect match. Arts For LA not only gave me opportunities to work for a cause that I truly believed in, but offered to aid me in my own journey of writing, learning, and creativity. They invited me into their ranks with open arms, and I could not have asked for anything better. Arts For LA gave me the opportunity to look both into the world and myself as a lover of creative arts. Every moment I spend volunteering with them feels right, like I am helping them to help people not only on a national scale, but individually.  

But that’s not where this starts.  

Judaism has always been a prominent part of my life. Maybe not in the ‘Shabbat dinner every Friday, synagogue on Saturday’ type of way, but there nonetheless. Whenever I got sick, my grandmother would cook me the most delicious matzo ball soup, fondly known as Bubbe Soup. I learned to treat everyone with respect and kindness and to celebrate the world in all of its glory. One of the most poignant ideals of Judaism that I learned and continue to learn about every day is the importance of a mitzvah; doing the right thing for the pure fact that you are doing the right thing. That is how I was led to Serve The Moment. 

Several people had mentioned Serve The Moment, sending me their volunteer page and urging me to sign up. A quick read through about the organization immediately sealed the deal. In the midst of a pandemic, connecting with people who share similar ideals and mindsets was not easy. Most days I spent alone, curled up and separated from the world. It was easy to feel isolated, and easier to get used to that feeling. Somehow, that was what became normal, and I knew I was not the only person to feel that way.  

While the first Serve The Moment meeting was online, joining the Zoom felt almost like I was stepping outside and into the sun. Here they were; people who could understand me, who wanted to do the same things as I did, people who shared a culture. Every single person I met through the program was kind, welcoming, and warm. From my local Los Angeles cohorts who made my time working with Serve The Moment truly unforgettable to the cohorts spread far and wide who made every moment truly feel connected, I found a community that I could feel at home with. Both they and Arts For LA gave me the chance to truly make a difference and find myself in a way I did not know I could, and it is not an experience I would trade for the world. 

In the end, I recommend Serve The Moment to anyone and everyone. It is not only fulfilling, but it opens doors no one could ever expect. From connecting a person to their city, their culture, and people of like minds and similar interests to becoming a part of something that truly, really, and completely matters, it is something bright and brilliant that can change a life for the better. I hope that everyone who comes across Serve The Moment takes a moment (pun not intended) to join and connect themself to what really counts. 

*Serve the Moment is an immersive experience that mixes urgent community service and meaningful learning, in partnership with Repair the World, the Jewish Service Alliance, and other incredible L.A. service partners. From October 11–December 17, our fall corps members will volunteer (either safely in person or virtually), learn, and reflect together, focusing on social and systemic inequities and rooting the experience in Jewish values.

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