Around this time of year everyone seems to act in a better mood. I don’t know if it is being around family, all the wonderful meals, the weather becomes cooler, or the presents at the end of the year, but whatever it is I like it. Fall time is just the best and there are endless reasons why, but what if this time of year changed for you and you didn’t have those meals, family, or presents? I know family may get annoying after awhile but if you couldn’t see them then it would be heartbreaking. We have the goods but look on the sides and see the hurt in others during this time of year. We see the people out front at stores holding buckets, ringing bells so that you might drop a few spare change in the bucket. We all want to help others but are hesitant with putting money in the bucket because we aren’t sure if the money will go to the right people or not. But what if you had a chance to change someone’s life, at least for a season. Would you take the opportunity? This is my chance to take the time and change someone’s season, this is my service project.
My service project started out to be picking a random person that looked homeless or someone that didn’t seem to have very much and start handing them random gifts and different times of the day by many different people. This was a great idea I saw someone do one time and it just brought the biggest smile on his or her faces that it affected me and I wasn’t even involved. But that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to brighten, not only the random person, but also a bystander’s day. I wanted the generosity to spread from one person to the next just like it happened to me when I saw it happen. But my main goal was to make someone feel special. This is the greatest gift of all, making someone feel loved, heard, and safe. So instead of making it a big thing, I picked someone special that I connected with at the Veteran’s Village. My special guy is Tim.
It was Thanksgiving Day and I had a long list of things to do that day, just like everyone else. My first stop was to the grocery store to pick up some sodas for the big Thanksgiving feast. I finally made it to Veteran’s Village and I was kind of being impatient because I needed to make it to another engagement. I wasn’t as talkative as I normally am or helping as much as I should have, but very quiet and not engaging. I walked downstairs and Dr. Soldani was down at the picnic tables chatting away with the guys that had got their food and were eating. As I stood there watching the clock tick, Dr. Soldani called me over. Hesitant, I walked over and sat down. We all started having some small talk but nothing really clicking for me yet. Dr. Soldani went to say hi to a few more people and left me to chat. One man asked me about my schooling and asked what major I was in. I replied with graphic design at TCC. He was impressed and told me that a long time ago when he was in school, he took a few graphic design courses. That’s when my day shifted and I realized to myself that I’m not here because my teacher asked me to, but I’m here to substitute for the family members that aren’t here for these Veterans.
Tim and I continued to talk about graphic design and how so much has changed since he was in school. He was telling me that he use to draw a lot and how now a days kids don’t know how to draw on paper but are great at drawing and making creations on the computer. Mouse vs. Pencils. We laughed and shared a few examples on those differences. Just when I got relaxed Tim accidently spilled his drink and all the ice spilled on the table, and being the great guy he is, he had to get something to clean that ice up with. So the conversation ended after that and I really needed to go then. I thanked the guys around me for being here to enjoy this wonderful meal and for allowing me to hang out with them and then I packed up to leave.
Being that it was Thanksgiving, I was thinking about how good I have it to where I can drive over to a family member’s house to eat a meal with them on this day. The Veterans didn’t have their family there so we had to step in. During this time of making memories with Tim, I realized that he should be apart of my service project. What better person to pick then the one I talked to and bonded more with. Making someone feel special isn’t buying them socks because its cheap and everyone needs socks, but buying them something that they can use or something that will remind them of you and things you share together. I had a great idea of buying Tim drawing paper and new pencils along with some shirts. I get to bring back something that he probably hasn’t done in a few years now and it will hopefully make him feel special that I remembered our conversations on that Thanksgiving Day.
Just like Ellen DeGeneres said, “We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.”