Monday, December 21, 2015

Service Project: all I want is for him to smile knowing someone out there cares about him.

(Student Essay Fall 20150
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi. I feel peace within my soul knowing I have the privilege to help others that need it more than myself. To make a positive impact on someone, even for a temporary moment, is an eternal gratification that can not be replaced. As my service project, I chose to read the book, “Prayer of the Laughing Yoga Frog” and send a box of goodies to Alex Lehr for Christmas.
When I first heard about Alex, I immediately thought of my biological cousin AJ, whom has severe down syndrome. He has always been an extremely special person in my life whether he knows my name or not. He calls me “Tina.” I grew up with AJ and remember when he was brought in to this world. Ever since, my outlook on mental disabilities has changed and I began to take it much more seriously than most people. Hearing about Alex, I felt as if it was my duty to make even the slightest difference in his life. I added him on snapchat and I believe we have snapped three times now. Although I have never met him, I know that he deserves to have as much joy in his life as anyone else does.
Knowing his penchant for candy, I bought Alex many different types: Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, Skittles, Dots, M&M’s, A&W soda gummies, and I threw in a box of Star Wars cheez-its. Not only did I get him candy, I wanted to spice it up and acknowledge the season we are in. Along with the candy, I sent Alex a Santa hat, Santa socks, a light up frog, sunglasses, headphones, and glow in the dark creatures he could put on the wall. I turned this project in to my own and went out of my way for a few hours to put together something nice for Alex. Whether he can distinguish who sent it to him or not, all I want is for him to smile knowing someone out there cares about him.
Completing this service project has had a great impact on me and the way I want to pursue my life. It has always genuinely been my passion to go out of my way to help others in need. This project has influenced me to do more things like this for other people. As much money as I spent, I know that putting a smile on Alex’s face would be well worth every penny. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely hope Alex enjoys everything I put together for him.
Here are a few pictures documenting my experience: