(Student Essay Fall 2015)
Dalai Lama once said, "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." When I was first given this project I originally thought of the simplest thing to do which was just to past out food to homeless people. But when you really think about it, how many times have that been done? How easy would that be? It's not a genuine act because there's no thought behind it. I was given the choice of buying a Christmas for someone at veteran village. Everyone I told about this project would say things like that’s stupid or just take an F. I have always been the type to help those in need. I looked at the project as these people risked their lives for me, so I should be able to risk a few dollars on them. I knew if it was the other way around and I was in their shoes and someone bought me a gift I'd be more than happy and appreciative. I started doing this because I felt obligated to but it was until I went to get the gifts when I actually thought about it.
For my veteran I tried to think about what would be most useful for them and what they would need. I picked up a cotton sweat suit because I remember when I first moved up here I had no winter clothes. I had one sweater and maybe 5 pairs of jeans. That was the worst feeling ever for me. I was freezing for so many days. I figured with it being winter time and knowing how cold Tallahassee can get a sweat suit would be most beneficial for them to keep them warm. I also bought the big cotton towels. Towels are not as extravagant but they are definitely a necessity and the cotton ones are quite comfortable and feels good on the skin. I'm not sure if the toaster would be something that my veteran would be looking forward to but toasters come in handy when you're in need of a quick breakfast.
By doing this project rather than impacting me educationally it impacts me emotionally. It help me realize that there is more to life than just receiving, sometimes it is the giving that gives you joy. It makes me feel good to know I did something for someone who was in need, someone who probably is expecting nothing but knowing that someone somewhere got them something would brighten their day. I think that if this was broadcasted to the community more people would join to make Christmas special for all veterans not just at veterans village but everywhere. Even if it doesn’t touch 100 people if touches just 10 it would make a difference. I'm sure all veterans whose a part of this gift exchange would be more than grateful and honored at the little gestures even if it isn't much to them it may mean a whole lot to know someone cares.