Anna, Her Sister, and Ms. Claudia: no matter what your circumstance you still need to be loved.

Student Service Project Report Summer 2016
“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
The opportunity to give is an awesome feeling for me. I enjoy giving of my time talent and money to people who are in need.  I love and enjoy visiting the nursing home. I have been visiting nursing home for twenty years. Ten of the years became very special to me.
There are 15,600 (2014) Number of nursing homes in the United States. There are 1.7 million Numbers of licensed beds as of 2014 and there are Proportion of nursing homes with for-profit ownership: 69.8% as of (2014) per Center of Disease and control web page
I started visiting the nursing home with a women group in the church.  We would visit the nursing home once a month after church. Residents of the nursing home enjoyed our visits. We would go from room to room asking if they desire prayer.  We would pray, sing and read scriptures in each room we visit. Starting with this group was bonding with the ladies who had the same love and compassion for the elderly and disable.  This was a time for my sister to work together in ministry.  My sister discontinues because she expresses how the nursing home smell made her literally sick and she did not visit much.
I joined another church and shared with the church the nursing home ministry there.  I began to work in the Nursing Home Ministry with this church because I enjoyed visiting the elderly and disable people who reside in the nursing home.   The mission with Life church International Center Nursing Home Ministry is phenomenal.  The Nursing Home Ministry started with 18 members and now we have five faithful members.
Everyone cannot work in the Nursing Home Ministry. During your visit you will have to interact with the disable, rather they are blind, can’t walk or talk.  The resident may have soars all over their bodies. They could have a bowel accident while you’re visiting.  The resident maybe mentally disturbed.  You have to have the heart of compassion to go in and love, pray, and sing under diverse circumstances.
We visit the nursing home once every Saturday between the times 9:45 to 11:45 a.m.  My visit in the last 10 years was special because my sister at age of 36 years of age had to live in a nursing home.  She ended up living in the Nursing home Facility due to her having an ischemic stroke when they gave her the anesthesia for surgery she never was the same. My sister passed on March 8, 2016.  I visited her everyday because I did not want her to fill as if we had abandoned her. I faithful check on her on my lunch hour and after work for 6 years.
My visit on July to the Nursing Home was so different July 16, 2016 was an amazing visit. I was the only person from the Ministry laboring. I off course said my prayer prior to entering the building and proceeded with a friendly greet with the receptionist Ms. Joyce.  I could feel this was going to be a special day.  I started my visit off with Ms. Claudia who is lying in her bed and she smiles and welcomes me in. I prayed with Ms. Claudia and sing.  Ms. Claudia informed me she hasn’t had a visitor in a while and she invites me back.  I visit the young lady Caldonia who was in the room with my sister before she passed. I sing and we prayed together. I sing a song
Lord Lead me and if you lead me I will be able to stand.   She became very touch by the song and she thanked me and she to invited me back.  I walk down the hall and one of the staff requested prayer. I prayed with the staff and embrace and encourage her to continue working and helping the people in need.   Sometimes staffs need us to pray for them.   I walked in the room to see one of the older women we usual visit she don’t talk much. She nods her
head. I ask her how she’s doing and she nods and tell she’s okay.  I was getting ready to shut the door the roommate look up at me and said would you pray for me.  I said sure. I pray and sing. In the middle of the song (what a mighty God we serve) she waves her hand and her roommate began to cry.  I talk with the young lady who nods. I said why you are crying. I ask her was she praising God she node and said yes.  The other roommate invited me back to see her.  The visits went on with people thank me and thanking God for sending me to visit.  I always end my visits with a hug and kiss.  When I left the building I felt so great to have shared love with people who were not able to get out to the church.  
Some of these residents sometimes do not have visitors for months. Most visitors only come on holidays. To go and serve these residents with my time, talent, and money is rewarding to me. I know that they have been loved on that day if no other. 
I will continue to serve in the Nursing Home and someday I plan to do a big event for the elderly and disable.  I believe no matter what your circumstance you still need to be loved. 

Julie writes positive, encouraging letters to soldiers and hopes you will too!!!!

I was that which others did not want to be.
I went where others feared to go, and did what others failed to do.
I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, and reluctantly accepted the thought of      eternal loneliness...should I fail.
I have seen the face of terror; felt the stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed the sweetest taste of a moment’s love.
I have cried, pained and hoped, but most of all, I have lived times others would say were best forgotten.
At least someday I will be able to say I was proud of what I was… A Soldier.
By George L. Skypeck

The reason why I chose this poem above is because of what I chose my service project to be. I have signed up to be a letter writing team member as well as epal letter writer for Soldiers Angels. What I do is write letters to our fellow soldiers overseas either by send them by mail or if there is and email address you can send an epal message to them . There are a few ways and things to say and don’t say while writing a letter to a soldier. Keep things light share things about yourself like hobbies or interests. Write about your life but keep it positive. Thank them for their service if you have connections in the military, mention that. Be positive stay away from political or polarizing topics. Tell them what's going on at home but stray away from things happening in the news that aren't positive. Let them know you support them. Your letters don't have to be long, just write from the heart. Write like you speak and show your personality and remember to include questions for conversation for when they write you back. Encouraging quotes are always nice. Never share anything negative, personal struggles, your own thoughts about controversial subjects, or ask their opinion about controversial subjects. Share how you got started with Soldiers' Angels and why you volunteer. Me I started because of this project but I will be continuing because I enjoy writing letters to the soldiers. I find it comforting to know that a simple letter from me can bring a soldier a smile and bit of comfort in such a chaotic time. For some of the soldiers don’t get letters from home because either they have no one to write them or as I was told by a soldier that is family didn’t support the war and refused to support the troops. I was heartbroken when I heard that and felt even more compelled to write and support our troops even more so. See even though I am only part of the letter writing team I still donate to our soldiers. Way’s to do so is by helping with care packages and you can even make a cash donation to help with some of the little comforts for our soldiers.So far I have written to 6 differnt soldiers. Three males in the army one female in the army and one male and female in the navy. Owe and when you do your letters you also have to make sure to let the head of the team know that you sent out the letter and how much you spent sending out the letter, the reason is because it goes into your log book and you can use it as a tax deductible when you file your taxes. The one lady I wrote that is in the Navy is actually from here in Florida but not Tallahassee she’s from Orlando, Florida. She loves arts and crafts and musicals.  The other person that I wrote to in the Navy is actually from where I lived before coming back to Florida. He is from Cleveland, Ohio. He talked more in his letters then the others. He is a big fan of basketball and was so mad when he couldn’t be state side when our Cleveland Cavaliers won their first championship in 52 years. He is also big into martial arts. Taekwondo and Muay Thai are the two he studys. He makes youtube videos in his down time and is a minor actor back at home with a few other friends. Owe just to let you know if you do become a letter writing team member if you don’t hear back right away don’t feel bad because they are always busy and don’t always have time to write back so don’t be discouraged your letters are still appreciated and wanted. When you send out your letter it doesn’t always have to be a letter it can also be a card. My step son wants to make a picture for when I send out my next letter I told him he is more than welcome to for the soldiers would be more than glad to have his artwork just I tell him to not to do any drawings on a bunch of guns. The soldiers have seen enough guns they would like to see something cheerful. So he said he’ll draw a picture of our cat Nala hehe. So that about wraps up my service project hope you enjoyed the read and if you ever feel like writing our troops they’ll appreciate it.

Isaac Made the BEST Roasted Pork and Connected with Veterans.

Student Service Project Report Summer 2016
Mahatma Gandhi once said “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” This quote resonates with me as I feel that it’s important for us to lend a helping hand to others. It’s beneficial to the psyche to show compassion and connect with people, regardless of whether they are strangers or longtime friends. It doesn’t have to be something major, and it doesn’t even have to be for a large group of people, or even for strangers, but giving back in some way every so often is in and of itself its own reward. We can learn so much about ourselves and others by interacting with new people and spending some of our time to make their lives a little easier.
 I initially wasn't sure whether or not this was something that I would be excited about. There’s a certain stigma when professors assign outside assignments, and I was worried my success in this class would heavily rest on outside work. I was also worried about whether or not I could successfully accomplish this assignment due to it potentially conflicting with my work schedule. From my first learning of this assignment, I knew that I wanted to use this opportunity to give back to those who needed it most as I was pretty sure that another opportunity like this wouldn't present itself again. Thinking about what I wanted to do actually excited me, and made me feel more connected to the assignment. When Dr. Soldani first posted about the chance to volunteer at the Veteran’s Village, I knew right away that this was what I wanted to do. I volunteered with Dr. Soldani and some other students at the Veteran’s Village serving a barbeque inspired dinner to a handful of military veterans. I was excited to be given the opportunity to do this as interacting with people and cooking are two things I very much enjoy doing. This assignment is very unique, and I feel like it allows you to help other people in your own way, and discover what you can give back to others.
I wanted to make the experience as memorable for the veterans as it would be for me, so I made sure that I cooked my food as perfectly as I could. I wasn’t tasked with anything unachievable, all I needed to utilize was timing and my love of cooking. I bought 14 pounds of prime pork shoulder for my pulled pork. I prepped the pork 24 hours in advance so that it could absorb a good amount of the dry rub I had made. The hard part began with the actual cooking of the pork. Knowing that it would take roughly 12 hours to cook, I strategically started cooking the pork at around 4 in the morning at a constant temperature so that I could assure that it would be done on time. When it was finished cooking, I couldn’t have been happier with how the pork turned out. I unfortunately didn’t get to eat any of my pulled pork at the Veteran’s Village which I guess is a good thing.
This activity was about much more than just food. It was about interacting with and providing for others. I got to meet people from all different walks of life. I met a man with a British accent. He told us stories of places he had been, and had a rather neat pet bird. I met a man who had lived in different parts of the country who told me what it was like for him living in California and Ohio. He went out of his way to be accommodating to us, and helped us with anything that we needed including cleaning up. I met a marine who not only thanked us for the food when he received it, but came back afterwards and thanked us again for the meal. This act truly stood out to me. No matter how much these men and women had sacrificed through their service, they were the ones who were thankful just because I took a little time and money and made them a meal.
This assignment gives me the opportunity to give back, and hopefully in my own way, help someone in need. We don’t really think about the difficulties that a lot of these veterans go through, and by simply cooking for them, I was able to alleviate some of their responsibility for the day. It’s one thing to visualize it in your head, but another thing entirely to put it into practice. Volunteering allows us to connect with others, and in some small way, make their lives a little bit better. I felt no greater honor than having the opportunity to give back to a group of people who have sacrificed so much for me and my country. All I wanted in the end was a better understanding of what it takes to have an impact on someone’s life, and I feel like by the time I had finished my volunteering, that was exactly what I had received. There is no greater feeling than knowing you made someone’s day a little better, especially if you enjoyed doing it during the process.

Kyleigh helped a Cop's widow and was paid back in joy*

Student Service Project Report Summer 2016
            “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou stated this and it has always been a quote that believe to be true, for my service project I babysat two little girls for free when their mother had nobody else and couldn’t afford to pay me. Of course to anyone of privilege this sounds like something they would never do. I for a short span of time never saw myself doing this either. Something overcame me however and I could not turn this young woman down. 

She is a single mother as her husband who was a cop was killed in his line of duty. Her also being a cop works very hard and unpredictable hours and spends more money on child care then what she brings financially into the home. It all became too much and next thing she knew she found herself in a predicament and was forced to go into work without any money to pay someone. Now the reason why I did this obviously wasn’t for this service project. In the beginning I had something completely different planned. I chose to watch this five and eight year old for free because I felt an obligation to do something nice for this family because they had already been through enough in their short lifetimes. I would hope that someone would do the same for me. While I watched the girls I made them dinner, played with them & their puppy, and put them to bed. I also took it upon myself to help this mom out with her living situation. Obviously being a single mother is a very hard task, as raising kids are never easy in the first place. 

I decided to clean up around the house to make a slight difference in this woman’s day. So when she got home she could just take a shower in crawl into bed instead of having to worry about the dishes, laundry, and cleaning up all of their dogs mess.

 It had a huge impact on me because the pure joy I saw on the moms face when she came to home to a clean living room, kitchen, and her children tucked away in bed will be something that I will never forget. The quote by Angelou really does have specific meaning in this situation because those little girls aren’t going to remember what movie we watched or how I told them to brush their teeth before bet. They will remember how much fun and joy I brought into their home that one night that I was there to watch just them. Everything was focused on them. 

 Their mom isn’t going to remember what school I go to or what kind of job I have. She is going to feel happiness whenever she thinks about that one girl that got recommended by a friend that watched her two most prized possessions in her time of need. I hope they will always remember me as the girl that brought joy and laughter into their home. Hopefully I was the fun babysitter and when they talk to their friends they mention me. I am always proud to mention that I babysat these girls for no charge. I feel like not a lot of people can say they have or they would but to help out a member of the community I am apart of is an experience that no one can take away from me. Unless you have a younger sibling that your parents just expect you to watch without getting paid, I have never personally met anyone who has done this. 

I would recommend it to anybody on an emotional level because it helps you grow as a person and see things for what they really are. When I become a mother and if I am ever in that kind of situation I would hope that somebody out of the kindness of their hearts would do the same for me. I feel like people are constantly forgetting that we are all just humans after all and when people need help instead of thinking about what is in it for them, they should think of others. I know that is a lot easier said than done but if everyone were to think that way the world would definitely be a better place.  This by far is the best thing I have done with any of my years to date.

Kelli brought her children with her to work at food bank*

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. - Rabindranath Tagore
My service project was to work at a food donation center, helping families put food on their tables in a time of need. I chose to volunteer at the donation center because we tend to take so many things for granted. We tend to forget about the struggles of others because it is “not our problem”. In my opinion, this is why our great nation is in the trouble we are now. We have lost the love for our neighbors and been taken over my greed and entitlement. Every day I open my refrigerator and know that there will be food to feed my family. I am grateful that I have never endured starvation or the hurt of my children being hungry. I work hard every day, working 40 hours, raising 3 boys, being a wife, mother, co-worker and going to school, it is exhausting. I have blamed others and pointed my finger saying they need make their own way but what I forget is, this is not my job. I should be lead to be a servant, to others, without judgement. You never know what someone else is going through and how a kind smile, helping hand or thoughtful word could make a huge difference.
As we woke up our 2 children the day started slow, with no motivation and probably a little resentment of spending our Saturday working in the heat. We traveled a pretty good way to a small church that my friend attends. It is a small church, built by hand with the love and strength of the congregation over months of hard labor. We pull in and meet many other smiling faces, this was a little odd to my boys as waking up this early to work does not put a smile on their faces. We are greeted and continuously told how much our help is appreciated. We loaded what seemed like a million bags and boxes of all different types of food into our cars. Their system was well organized and stream lined as we packed everything up to bring it to the school. Those same smiling faces were still excited and ready to move to our next stop. My boys still not so thrilled, were now sweaty and tired but I think a little happier. I really think most of it was that the joyful attitudes were just contagious!!
We arrive at the school and the line had already begun. I am amazed at the faces and I think the boys were too. The faces so similar to our own, the faces that you see every day and would never know that their pantries may be bare. There were so many things to be done, yet everyone never lost those smiles. The morning passed so quickly and the enormous amount of food was gone in what seemed like minutes. We worked with my friends niece’s, they were sweet and funny and helped us putting things were they need to go quickly, so that everyone got what they needed. I was amazed that every month most of the same people gather and use their time, gas, and energy to give so much for so many. The people moved through the line, gathering food and were so grateful. There were people of all races, young and old, some with children and some just by themselves. In the background our little ones had lost interest in preparing the bags and had started to play and sing. There was no fighting, no hitting and no arguing. The love that was pouring out this morning was infectious and I wished I could bottle it up and take it home. As we finally finished with the last few bags, I looked around and no one was rushing to their cars, everyone still had those smiling faces, a little sweatier now, but still smiling. I know that handing a bag of food to someone is far from actually changing someone life but it is the connection with others that sometimes moves us beyond words. I have volunteered in many ways and felt the joy that builds in your heart with giving unconditionally. I have seen a remarkable change by just the love that a person can show another, how it breaks down walls and bring people together. At the end of the day, the most rewarding part was hearing one of my boys say “Mom that was fun, we should do it again”. Yeah, I can tell you that I was holding back tears as I drove that kid home.

Nicholas and Ms. Betty

Nicholas Schwab
AMH2020 Service Project
July 16, 2016

            The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
            I believe if you want to make a difference in world, to start with, it needs to be done in your local community. This is the cornerstone of serving the world. Today our country and world are experiencing some dark times. If we came together and served one person each we could change the world. When I think of service, I think of a quote by Ronald Reagan, “We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” When I am serving someone I try to always think of that quote. I try to always put myself in the other person’s shoes and think of ways I can use my blessing to benefit others.  I have a passion for my local community. During football season I come home on the weekends and coach an Upward football team. This is a great platform to serve kids, be a great role model to, and teach the kids the basics of what it means be a Christian. When I started volunteering for this ministry four years ago I began to look at people in my local home town of Perry, Florida different. This ministry created a deeper hunger in me to help the people that needed a positive influence in my local town. This world needs a light and I believe we as people are the light, and need to be the light, that this dark world needs. I want to help people in any way I can. Through the Upward ministry I began to serve my community in other ways as well. Because it is not football season I look to serve through volunteering every Tuesday at a local place called the Father’s Storehouse. This is a food and clothing shelter that is ran by my church. At the Father’s storehouse we give away clothes and food for free to the people who need it in our community. Clothing is mostly donated from people in the community. The food is brought from my church and other local churches in the region. The main lady who operates the store house is one of the sweetest ladies in the world. Her name is Mrs. Betty. She is an elderly lady who always has something positive to say. Her smile and personality puts a smile on my face every time I talk to her. My job at the Father’s Storehouse is to unload the truck with food every Tuesday. A couple guys and I unload these heavy boxes full of any kind of food you can think of. We store all the dry foods in a shed and put the cold food inside. Once we unload all the food I go through the boxes and organize them for Mrs. Betty since she is elderly lady and has a harder time lifting than I do. I was blessed with strength and size so any chance I get to use these talents for God’s glory I consider it a blessing. One of the biggest benefits I get from this act of service is seeing the smile and joy on peoples face as they leave from this place. They now can go home with food or clothes that they did not have before. These little things that I can sometimes take for granted they take as a gift. Because of this, it is a very humbling experience. It makes me thankful for what I am blessed with. To me, acts of service do not just benefit the person being served. It also has a huge impact on the person serving. It fills my heart with so much joy when I see the fruits of my labor. It means more to me than the person will ever know when I see someone leave with a smile on their face knowing they are taking something really awesome home to their families. I encourage everyone, if are blessed, give back to the community or help others in a way that can benefit them in ways we may never know. Do not waste the things that God has blessed us with. Rather, use it for his glory and to change someone for the better.

Hannah met women whose faces said more with just one look than any sentence they could have uttered.

 Student Service Project Report Summer 2016 

“Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you” Wise words of Richard Bach.
 Through my ervice project I feel as if I gained a second sight. I chose The Kearny Center, which is Tallahassee’s homeless shelter for men and women. It was a road and a building that I have driven by innumerable amounts of times and never thought twice about what went on inside. Now, however, I drive by and my mind is transcended into deep thoughts about who would be getting bed there tonight, and not a cot; who would miss check in, and have to sleep somewhere outside and unsafe; how the woman in the midst of a miscarriage the night I volunteered is doing now. I choose to take my experience of a measly few hours and run with it.
I volunteered in the women’s wing and met women whose faces said more with just one look than any sentence they could have uttered. I sat in the small room in the middle of the
dorms in small room, covered with windows, at a desk surrounded by sheets, towels, toiletries
and other basic necessities I’ve never even once imagined what it would be like to go without. The women approached me without hesitation and asked me my name and told me how happy they were I had decided to take the time out of my life to help this place they held so dear to their hearts. This was their home. That was my biggest culture shock. They didn’t have any private living quarters. Just two large rooms stacked wall to wall with cots and beds. Showers that were loosely divided and toilet stalls just the same. The courage these women had to have to walk into this building on their first night and surrender their privacy along with their pride is unimaginable.

My job that night was to hand the women what they asked throughout the little window in front of the desk. They would come up and exchange their ID cards for Towels and ask for Shampoo conditioner, and bars of soap to accompany the towels they received. They asked for bed sheets, and I snuck them extra to help pad the cots some of them had slept on.
It doesn’t seem like much putting the words on paper of the little tasks I did, but I believe it made more of an impact on me than it did on them. I by no means had things handed to me growing up, or even now. I have maintained a job since I was 15. Now, I work two jobs, pay for my own bills fully, along with my college tuition. However, I don’t deny the privilege I have received throughout my life. Since that day, when something has upset me, I think to myself ‘would this matter if I didn’t have a home? Would I care about this still if I had to wait until a designated time to eat a meal I didn’t choose every day?’ This was a truly humbling experience that I cannot wait to do all over. I have maintained in contact with the director of the women’s wing to become a regular volunteer. This experience opened my eyes to the fact that life could be worse, much worse. I am so lucky to have a place to lay my head in private and comfort every night without question. That there is food in my fridge I have access to twentyfour­seven, along with a dog who
snuggles me every night, which I never viewed as a luxury until I saw these women did not have that option.
I have always planned to get involved with local government once I graduate and know I know what purpose I will have once I get there. To give back to my community and help those that need it the most. To try and give voice to those who are rarely heard. To help them gain access to help and resources to not only help them in the present, but help them gain a future. A future that has a bed, a full fridge and a snuggly pet to help keep them warm at night.
No amount of service I give after that night can ever repay what that first experience did for me. I am forever indebted to the women who have no idea of their impact on my life. The small conversations I have that replay in my head ever since that evening. Their simple stories and pleasures will forever keep my thoughts modest.

Madison Served Dinner at Veterans Village and Will be Back!

 Student Service Project Report Summer 2016
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”- Maya Angelou
I believe that this quote ties in well with my experience at Veteran’s Village because though they probably won’t remember who I am, they won’t forget how good they felt when they saw students there to provide them with dinner. I really admire how passionate my teacher is about the importance of engaging and giving back to those in need in the community. Though I liked taking this class online and not having to wake up every morning, I do wish I could have had Professor Soldani in class because I would have really enjoyed listening to her lectures. She seems very inspiring and I definitely would recommend taking this professor for American history.
             For my service project I chose to attend Veteran’s Village. I was a bit skeptical at first, at attending Veteran’s Village because I was not too sure what to expect. Arriving at the townhome community and being welcomed by Professor Soldani and a nice older man downstairs that helped with directions, made walking into a new environment very comforting. All of the other volunteers were really nice as well, making the experience fun and enjoyable. Participating in Veteran’s Village, brought to my attention that the little things in life that I sometimes take for granted, should be appreciated more because situations could be a lot worse. I am thankful for everything I am able to do in my life and also being able to help others in need. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my life, along with homework, that it felt good to just take a break and do something nice for others. I enjoyed taking the time out of my day to provide dinner to the veteran’s, my part was the drinks. Before they started to arrive, I was shown the stocked food pantry of can foods for the veterans. I thought that was really awesome that this facility provided that.  As they arrived, I watched many of their faces light up when they walked through the door and saw us there and it warmed my heart. All of the classmates that attended, prepared a delicious dish and the veteran’s loved it. Some even came back for seconds. Though I did not make a ton of conversations with the veteran’s, the few that I did talk to I would ask how their day was going as I handed them their drink. They thanked me but really, I was showing them that I am thankful for what they have done. I am thankful for the arm services, these individuals I feel should be acknowledged for all that they have contributed, for some, even their lives, so we can enjoy the freedom and amenities that we have today. I am grateful for the opportunity to show these men and women my appreciation for all that they have done. If I ever need another service project, I know where I’m going to go!

Devin and her Husband Spread Kindness along North Monroe

 Student Service Project Report Summer 2016
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” , stated by Maya Angelou. I have heard that particular quote many of times and never really knew what it meant until now. When I stepped out of my own comfort zone to help others that were in need it showed me the true meaning of what Maya Angelou meant. I’ve been faced with many situations in life where people may have forgotten what I said and maybe even what I did, but I’m sure those that I helped while at a low point won’t forget how I made them feel.
During the week of the fourth of July, I sat with my husband and made invidual gallon sized bags filled with differents sanitary items to give to those in need, during this process of filling the bags my more than curious three year old wanted to know just what mommy  was doing. I took this as an opportunity to explain to her that mommy and daddy were giving out items to help the less fortunate sanitize as they don’t always have the chance to do so.
So on July 9th, on my way to Crawfordville for my nephews birthday party, I handed out individual gallon size bags with different items based on gender to hand out to the homeless. We traveled along North Monroe Street and made a stop at Walmart, gas stations along the way and also when we came to stop lights that happened to have individuals in need. I filled each bag  depending on gender a little differently, for the women I made sure to include feminine products, sanitary products, toothbrush, toothepaste, deoderant, socks and a bottled water. For the men in need, I  put socks, a toothbrush, toothepaste, deoderant, and also a bottled water.  
 The joy in the face of some of these men and women that I got to witness due to something I did for them myself willingly and not forced to do by someone made me feel delightful and it made me feel as if maybe I made a difference in someone’s day. Of all things that I had the opportunity to do I never saw this happening as I have always been a little terrified of going around people that I don’t know. 
However, now that I have seen what I did and felt how I felt after seeing the glow in the homeless individuals faces as I handed them simple items, I know that I made a difference. If people in our community would stop stressing over the simple things and stop acting as if those in need are scary aliens maybe we will be able to come together as a community to slow the pace of people becoming homeless. I’m sure there are “homeless” people out there that are not really homeless and that are taking advantage as they just don’t want to work but why is it fair that we let those bad apples ruin the ones that really are in need.   
My hope in the exchange of these few minor items, is that I can make an impact among our community as a whole. I want those men and women In need to know that there are people out there that do care for them and I want them to see that there is more to life. I would love for those that have the opportunity to give to those in need to understand that it is the small things in life that matter the most, like giving to others even when you don’t feel like the little things are enough those little things could mean the world to someone else.

Spencer worked with FISH in in Sanibel

“It is those in the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especially.”
-Saint Francis de Sales
Saint Francis de Sales has had more of an impact on the volunteer work I have done in my life than merely providing a quote that is applicable to my topic of service to others. All of the education I have received prior to college has been from catholic schools. The most predominant influence that Saint Francis de Sales had on me was during the entirety of my high school career. I went to Bishop Verot Catholic High School and before every class we would recite a prayer and at the end the teachers would say “Saint Francis de Sales,” and the class would respond “pray for us”. Saint Francis de Sales was a person whom my school looked up to in many different aspects; but, the place in which he was revered the most in by my school community was in the area of service leadership. During the course of every semester, Verot students were required to complete thirty hours of community service as a way to give back to the community and also as a way to imitate our school role model, Saint Francis. Many students, including myself, went above and beyond these hours because we saw the benefit that we were giving to the community, felt good helping others and found a community relief program that really sparked our interests. For those four years, my charity was F.I.S.H. of Sanibel, so that was my immediate thought when given the assignment to participate in volunteer work.
            F.I.S.H., an acronym standing for “friends in service here”, of Sanibel is a charity organization that is located on the island on which I live. This charity is basically a supplier of food to the local food banks around Southwest Florida and my job is to sort, pack, and transport boxes of food to food banks in my region that are low on supplies. F.I.S.H. is just a collection organization because Sanibel does not require the need for one. For the most part, low income people who are in situations that require the use of food banks as a mean to survive do not pay the six dollar toll in order to enter the sole way onto the island. A majority of the people who live on Sanibel, including the ladies who work at F.I.S.H. are older people who retired and moved to the area, so the need for younger and able-bodied people to lift packages, load trucks and drive carloads of food to in need areas. During my high school career, my job was that whenever I received a call from the organization I would drive down the road to their small warehouse, load my mom’s truck up with food, and unload the car at food banks in about a two-hour radius of my home. My most recent job with F.I.S.H. was different than the others I had done in years prior.
            During the course of this semester I was utilized to sort and package similar foods in the stock room, because apparently the soup kitchens in my county had a suitable amount of food and did not require as many deliveries to be made this summer. Though the non-perishable items were not being moved out of the building, the amount of donations coming in continued, so there was an overstock of goods that the older ladies were not able to sort without help. As I walked in the door and asked if they needed any help, I could see a sense of relief roll across the lady at the front desk’s face. I was taken back to the storage room and was overwhelmed with the amount of food that was in disarray all over, unknowingly I asked where the delivery was being taken and then was explained the situation that there were no deliveries that banks had requested in a bit. I saw this situation as kind of a let down at first, to be honest, but, of course, I agreed to continue my volunteer work at my favorite location and help sort the supply room. As I began sorting similar foods into boxes and onto shelves for easy deliveries in the future I realized that this situation was not a negative one in the slightest bit!
            I recognized in the faces of the permanent volunteers that I was helping a tremendous amount by taking the strain it would cause an older woman to do this and doing it myself. Another realization that I had while organizing that room, was that each bag of rice that I placed onto a shelf was one that was not required to be used to feed in-need people in my area. It felt amazing thinking that the state of my region’s poorest areas was were increasing and not requiring as many deliveries from external sources than in the years prior. This gave me hope that the work that I had been doing in high school of delivering food may have led to more people my age helping to deliver food or that there was just not as many mouths to feed in these areas because people got out of the negative situations that they were in before. This last trip to F.I.S.H. opened my eyes more to the utility of service more than any other time before, and I can’t wait until I have my next opportunity to help people again because of that.  

Anonymous Student went to AA Meeting

Student Service Project Report Summer 2016

I was originally going to pick my own quote from one of my favorite writers or a person of great significance in our culture, but I found this to fit my experience. My service project came to fruition in a small room of a church in north Tallahassee. I decided to visit an AA meeting against the feelings inside me. I grew up in a family that liked to drink, none were violent and I always felt fortunate that I didn’t have the same childhood my father experienced. I myself like to have a drink or two with friends and family on a day of celebration or just an easy Sunday. 

When deciding to pick my service I thought about the people that are ruined by something so many people enjoy. I have often though about the irony that is the relationship our society shares with alcohol, it can enhance an Independence Day celebration and at the same time completely destroy someone’s life.

​ I started my service by searching for an AA meeting around me. A sad surprise showed me numerous options around Tallahassee and the surrounding areas. I settled on a church that was close to my work and in an area I was familiar with. It was a Monday night and the meeting was at 8pm at a local church, my usual cheery manner was strained as I found a parking spot. I began to feel nervous as I grasped the reality of what I was about to partake in. I knew that I wanted to service the community in some fashion and I decided that this is somewhere that I might be able to make a difference. As I walked in I noticed a community of people with pure intentions. I overheard conversations that were focused on the wellbeing of the people involved. You could immediately tell these people cared for each other and at the same time you could see they were almost strangers. Within minutes strangers were introducing themselves and asking how I was. It almost took my breath away at how friendly this group of people was. After a few minutes I noticed everyone taking a seat at one of the folding chairs around the room.

​As much as I prepared myself I wasn’t ready for what happened a few minutes into the meeting. The man who welcomed everybody, greeted people by name and shared a few words that held heavy meaning looked right at me. He asked softly if I would like to introduce myself and speak to the group. My heart was pounding as I stood up, I looked around the room and said my name. I told them about how I was there to perform a service and to help any way I could. Apparently I was the first student at this gathering with my intentions and I began to feel as if I made a mistake. The group quickly reassured me that they were happy to see me. I sat back down and the meeting commenced. I heard stories of heartbreak and the fight against temptation. The experience changed me to the core; I realized a disease that exists within people we share our lives with. Now all I could think about was how to help.

​As the meeting came to an end I was still struggling with myself on how I could help. I got up to leave but was stopped by a middle aged woman who introduced herself at a mother with a child my age. She explained how her dependency on alcohol caused a divorce and how she thought that led to her kids misbehavior. As we talked other members started to come into our conversation. As I told them about my life and what I am trying to do with it they listened to every word. Many were happy for me and some warned me about the temptations that exist. I had already stayed for almost two hours when I realized I still had a few people that wanted to know about me. I told them how I overcame my obstacles and they listed as if they would try it themselves. I don’t know if I ever really helped anyone, but I hope in my heart that one of the friends I made that night will fight to overcome their problem.

​That experience changed me more that I would have expected. I know now that everyone is fighting his or her own struggle. As important as my experience is the realization that everyone should try and help as much as they can. We can all make a difference in others life and we should do that any chance we get.

Shawna Served Food, Patience and Kindness at the Kearney Center

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
-Mother Teresa

For my Service Project, I helped feed the homeless at the Kearney Center located at 2650 Municipal Way, Tallahassee, FL. The Kearney Center has been renovated to accommodate approximately 240 men and 150 woman. Saturday mornings the center serves brunch from the hours of 8:30am -11:30am to approximately 180-200 residents. Before the food is served the residence gather for prayer. I was placed on the end of the food assembly line in which I helped construct plates and handed them to the residents. From 8:30am to approximately 10am the residents were served eggs, bacon, sausage, danishes and yogurt, 10:30 – 11:30, the eggs were replaced with potato salad, bacon and sausage were replaced with chicken thighs, danishes replaced with blueberry muffins and yogurt. While many of the men and women were extremely grateful for their food, there were others who were extremely picky. While serving I met a young man by the name of George, he had been living at the shelter for only a few days. George was in line to be served and the young guy in front of him was being very picking, “he didn’t want this he wanted eggs with cheese, he wanted two bacon instead of a sausage and bacon, he asked for milk instead of yogurt. His behavior annoyed Mr. George and so when it was time for me to hand George his plate he refused, tossed his cane down in rage and walked away upset. I walked after him and asked why he was so angry and he said, “I get so sick of people who don’t have anything being ungrateful, I was upset for you all serving because you didn’t have to come down here to serve us.” 

As I appreciated his concern, I reassured him that when it comes to food, you will not please everyone. And although he was being ungrateful, it’s more important to me that he was fed because you and I don’t know when his next meal will come. So I politely asked Mr., George to accept the plate I made for him and to not put all his energy into being upset. He took his plate, sat in the dining hall ate and went on about his way. After serving, I helped the staff and residents clean the dining hall. I was told by the operations manager that the homeless are assigned chores while living at the Kearney center. She also gave me a tour of the building, the men and woman have assigned beds and before they are assigned a bed they have to stay at least three consecutive nights at the Center. There is also a patio one for the men and one for woman for recreation and another one of their chores is to keep the patios swept and cleaned. They have a computer lab in which the residents use to apply for social services and employment. There is a case manager on duty to assist the residents with counseling, job searches and permanent housing placement.
            I was delighted to volunteer at the shelter, I learned that homelessness comes in all shapes, forms, ethnicity, age, race, itellect and religions. I also learned that life at the shelter is more than just a cot or bed to sleep, there are readiness programs and activities to keep the homeless connected to society and to prepare them for long term housing. As far as my interactions with Mr. George, I’ve learned that it’s not worth the headache to be diappointed about a few ungratful individuals. Life is too short. I choose the quote by Mother Teresa because it is truth, that at the end of life we will be judged by the service in which we provide to others. I would recommend that everyone take a few hours from their schedules to feed the homeless at the Kearney Center.

Terri's Beautiful Wisdom: "Being on a first name basis with the homeless is a gold star in my book!"

 Student Service Project Reports Summer 2016

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” –John Bunyan
            For my service project I fed the homeless with my church small group. This is something we do monthly, not just for this project! We go to different places around Tallahassee that are known places for the homeless to hangout. We each bring something different so the homeless have a full cooked meal. We tend to frequent the picnic area at Lake Ella. There are so many less fortunate people there. I think due to the large public bathroom and covered areas there. I always bring the salad. I know for the homeless it is hard to get vegetables and after taking nutrition at TCC I know how important it is so I always want to make something vegetable based. A woman that works with me has a husband who works at a food distributor. Whenever they have extras they bring it to the office and I will take some for the homeless. Once there was about 10 boxes of Cheez-its that I took to the folks at Lake Ella. I know that it isn’t the healthiest but they were thankful! Just about 3 weeks ago there was a whole entire rack of bread at work. Not even kidding probably 45 loafs of bread. I took them to Lake Ella and every person just about go three whole loafs. I love to feed the homeless because of the humbling affect it has on people. You can be having the worst day of your life and it is still better than theirs and you always realize that when you feed the homeless. I go almost every month and I still complain about life in between volunteering. Sometimes you do not realize just how good you have it. When I have kids I will make sure I take them to do things like this as soon as they are able to walk because I want them to learn to be appreciative about everything. Sometimes when we feed the homeless I notice there are at times people who are little off. I have a slight obsession with learning about mental illnesses and I can tend to tell when people have one. Once I notice a homeless person with one I go straight to talk with them. It is what I love. A lot of other people get scared when they see someone in a psychotic state and shy away but they are also just people who need human interaction as well. When I finish college I hope to be able to get a nursing job on the behavioral health wing so that I can deal with people like this daily. It is truly my passion. When you feed the homeless and see people in this state you can’t help but feel awful for them. There is something that they can’t control and they can’t even get help for it. A lot of the time it is war vets with PTSD. They are always my favorite because they have the best stories. When I talk to them I can’t help but think about how they served this entire country and now they are homeless. It just shows how unappreciative America as a whole is. Speaking with these guys is also why I now contribute to the Wounded Warriors project. I got my parents in on it, too! I think more people need to realize how important helping others is. You know if you were homeless and slept at Lake Ella you would want a home cooked meal every now and then. I get the most frustrated when I see families at Lake Ella throwing bread at the ducks when there are homeless people right behind them that need it way more. It makes my skin crawl! Most people have all kinds of cans in the back of their pantry they do not even know are there. They could just drop those off at Lake Ella and make someone’s whole day and it sucks that people do not realize that. I unfortunately do not have any pictures. When my small group feeds the homeless we leave our cell phones in the car. We have a strict no technology rule.  It helps make the experience more enjoyable. A little face to face never hurt anyone. To me this rule is one of the most important factors. You really learn about people this way. I just about know everyone’s name by heart. Being on a first name basis with the homeless is a gold star in my book! The bible says “those who bless others will be abundantly blessed” and I have never felt more blessed.

Qaasim and His Friends Went on a Kindness Spree Across Tallahassee!!

Service Project Report
                  We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that. - Ellen DeGeneres
                  For my service project I decided to give to the homeless. As you may know there are plenty of homeless people in Tallahassee some are traveling through going to another city while others are simply scared to leave or been here all of their lives. I usually go around giving change or sometimes buying someone a burger at the Tennessee Street McDonalds near fsu campus but I wanted to do something special or at least a little more remotely helpful to all. 
I decided to go to Walmart and buy ten cases of water, and I got 3 big boxes of chips from my job. Then one of my friends also gave the idea of getting clothes so we gathered a ton of clothes from all of my local car friends and then I gathered some from the local super smash bros gaming community. My girlfriend also gave the bright idea of making sandwiches with the water also and including fruit to make a complete meal. So after hours of sandwich making and paper bags we were ready to hit the streets! We first started by driving by the Walmart on west Tennessee there was a vet there and we were able to give him some clothes and a meal of course and he was very nice and thankful. Then across the street at the inland was a group of people with a dog all travelling in an old van trying to get gas money to go to Seattle. 
They were really nice and cool we shared a few stories and then I gave them all a meal and then put $20 in their tank. With us being half way through the day it was great to actually start making ground driving on Tennessee and stopping at locations to drop off food and water, one person was kind of reluctant about extra clothes saying “too many layers for this weather haha”, but there were also some that were really excited about having a fresh t-shirt and shorts to lounge around in. 
After a couple of hours we met a cool guy named Dan he was a vet that was also into yoga and MMA we were able to share quite a few laughs because we both enjoyed watching a show called rick and morty. So we were making references the entire time and soon after he actually gave me a short lesson on Yoga! It was great to learn something so nice and relaxing and then short after I told him about how I trained a little bit in juijitsu and that he should definitely should drop by and check out our gym and he was so stoked about the thought of it. Then he also gave us a tip and told us to go down to Lake Ella because plenty of people are there because of the shade and how peaceful it is. 
So we jumped back in my car went to lake Ella with hands full of bags of treats. We then walked around the park passing out stuff to many of the homeless people sitting outside and were able to give everyone a nice cold water and food. So many people were happy about what we were doing and it really did touch our hearts we were able to have an impact and give smiles to most within the city especially during this extremely hot weather. The many characters and people that I met during this experience was great and I would surely do it again. I learned many things and stories from people just by walking around and talking to them and I hope I had an impact on others to do the same or try to contribute to the community around us. I also plan on signing up for the habitat fo humanity project and helping more people in the future. I think it’s a great program that will help people get outside, learn some trades and actually contribute to the homeless problem that we have for others because I noticed that there were actual families living on the streets and this is very sad to know. So if building a home for someone that doesn’t have one at all help sign me right up! If we can all chip in and help others this world will be a better place for us all to live in.