Monday, December 21, 2015

Service Project: People feel so loved and empowered when they are aware that someone cares for them, and why would I not strive more often to contribute to that?

 “You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” 
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

            For my service project I brought something that I love and am passionate about to people with a need. This is going to sound really cheesy, but I love Chick-fil-A. After I dropped out of college for personal and financial reasons, I was desperately looking for a job to consume my time and to start paying off debt.  Chick-fil-A hired me about a month after I stopped attending school and it gave me purpose in my year off of school. Chick-fil-A has a very special piece in my heart and I love being able to share it with people.
            Originally when thinking of my service project, I just knew I wanted to engage in conversation with people.  I think loneliness is a huge struggle in our society and I want to serve people with company.  So being able to bring Chick-fil-A to Veterans Village and engage in conversation with the Veterans was a very rewarding experience.  They were all so excited about getting free Chick-fil-A and it was really fun to serve that to them.
            Some of the Veterans were very reserved, but the ones that I got to talk to were really enjoyable and it’s just so fun to listen to people talk about things they care about. I know that I didn’t work for Chick-fil-A when I did this service project, but it was cool to talk to them about the good that Chick-fil-A does in general and in my life.  I really enjoyed just getting a glimpse into some of their stories.
            I think genuine care and service is displayed in people and their actions, not just people giving things.  It would have been very easy for me to drop off the food and leave, but service is more about time and using our abilities then just simply giving.  People have a lot to offer just within themselves, not necessarily what they can just physically give.  If I had showed up to Veterans Village without food, just to chat and engage with others, I believe there still would have been a significant impact. I know that I feel much more valued and cared for when someone reaches out to genuinely ask about my day and who I am than I do when I am given things and left with them. 
            From this experience I learned that I need to get back into serving more regularly.  I love listening to peoples stories and learning more about them as individuals, and this experience reminded me of that passion.  People feel so loved and empowered when they are aware that someone cares for them, and why would I not strive more often to contribute to that?  I’m really thankful for this project and for this class for pushing me out of my comfort zone and into a place where I can serve.