The Cougar Volunteer Spirit is Alive and Well in Charleston

This blog is a project by public relations students at the College of Charleston. Since its inception in 2004, the Cougar Volunteer Spirit has showcased dozens of students who give of their time, effort and hearts to helping those in need. They don't do it for recognition like this, but their stories need to be shared because of their admirable qualities of character and caring. "Be the change you want to see in the world," Mahatma Ghandi said. That's the Cougar Volunteer Spirit that roars through these pages. Click on the side photos to see the articles. See photos of the students who wrote the pieces at the end. Thanks!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

BRAD MOTLEY - Salkehatchie Summer Service

Rebuilding Homes with Good Friends

By Scott West

Me, Brad, and my good friend Ryan raising money for Salkehatchie Summer Service (from left to right: Brad Motley, Scott West, Ryan Petit)

Brad Motley has been a good friend of mine since we met in kindergarten years and years ago. We have been going to the same schools ever since, from elementrary school all the way to College of Charleston. We also went to the same church for a while also, St. Mark United Methodist Church. Brad and I discovered a great program called Salkehatchie Summer Service that is similar to the very popular Habitat for Humanity program. The Salkehatchie Summer Service had many different branches in South Carolina but Brad and I's branch was assigned to Winnsboro, S.C. where our work would take place. Brad and I knew that this would be hard work when we signed up but soon realized that helping the less fortunate by rebuilding their homes was well worth the sweat.

Hometown, Major, and College/High School Graduation Date

Brad was born and raised in Charleston, S.C. He graduated from West Ashley High School and has just recently graduated from CofC with a bachelor's in computer science in December, 2010. Brad is known for being a "computer wiz" and all of his friends go to him when they have problems with their computers. Not only does Brad have a natural niche in the computer technologies field but he also gained a great deal of experience when working a little over three years at Compuzone, a local computer shop that specialized in computer repair as well.

Volunteer Activities: I don't have a long history in volunteering other than my work at Salkehatchie but I do like to consider taking care of my grandmother when I was younger a "part-time job." Taking care of a my grandmother who is well into her 90s may not constitute as "volunteering" on paper but definitely took much time out of my day. Also, my friends and random customers in Compuzone would sometimes come to me personally to fix their computers on the side. I did my work well at Compuzone and people took note to that, in turn some customers I had would just call my cell phone asking if I could just repair their computer personally. I would charge people most of the time but for friends and preferred customers I would either do it for free or for a discounted price.

What do you enjoy most about community service?: During my volunteering at Salkehatchie I would find myself thinking "this is too much work" and would get pretty tired at times. The thing that I loved most about doing this kind of work is whenever I felt the need to complain or whine I would just look at the faces of the owners of the houses we were rebuiling and be filled with complete gratitude...this feeling would supress such petty thoughts of wanting to complain. Being able to supress my thoughts to want to complain or whine was my favorite thing about my Salkehatchie experience. So I guess you could say getting a little bit tougher was the thing I most enjoyed about my part with community service in Winnsboro.

How do you think your friends and family would describe you?: My friends would most likely describe me as a sarcastic ass and for my family, well...they would probably say the same thing. My friends and family would would most likely say that first but they would also probably say that I'm a good person to talk to when they need advice on anything going on in their lives.

What are your plans after graduation?: Since I'm already graduated from CofC, I'm currently working full time with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and I intend to use my skills in computer technologies to further advance myself within the company and climb the corporate ladder. I also just got married and plan on spending some fun years with my wife in the first few years of our marriage then eventually have some kids maybe down the road.

How have you personally benefited from volunterring?: In all honesty, I have become a lot more humble since my volunterring work with Salkehatchie. Seeing people cry in pure joy when seeing their newly repaired homes is quite the feeling and just the right feeling to change somone into a better person. I learned to appreciate the small things in life and to have patience when the time is needed.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?: I would tell anyone who is thinking about volunteering to stop thinking about it and just do it; trust me it will be one of the best decisions you will make in your life. Once someone can make the decision to give and to live their lives altruistically is when they will feel a more positively evolved self.

For more information on Salkehatchie Summer Service visit

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