Sunday, December 11, 2016

Julia's Report: Veterans Village

            “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 said this before and I could not agree more with this quote. I know from personal encounters with people that I have remembered certain people by the way they made me feel even if that feeling wasn’t a good one. The way people make you feel is the way they impact on you for the rest of your life. This is why I have always loved volunteering ever since I knew what it meant to help others. I started to volunteer more often when I was in high school. I was in leadership all throughout high school where I was able to find multiple volunteer opportunities.
            For my service project this semester, I went to the Veterans Village for dinner and brought soda as my attribution. My job during the dinner was to stand outside the door and welcome all the veterans. That was my favorite part of this experience because I got to talk to them and really be able to see how sweet they are. I was standing out there with my professor who has been doing these dinners for years and she has gotten to know all the veterans. After talking to her the entire dinner and her sharing the stories that these veterans have been through really opened my eyes. This dinner was something I would do often because I would love to get close to some of these veterans to actually learn about their lives and hear the stories that made them who they are.
            I wanted to get involved and go to the dinner at the Veterans Village because I have always been the one to help others and loved being involved with my community back home and I wanted to get involved in my new town of Tallahassee. When my history professor told my class about this opportunity I was so happy and couldn’t wait to take part. I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t have made it to more dinners. I know I will be making it to more of these dinners next semester even if I don’t have to. It was such a great experience seeing the veterans and how they are living now and it made me appreciate what they have done for our country and even for me and my life. While I was at this dinner I realized how much these veterans appreciated us helping them even though they are the ones who are the most appreciated. This experience was the best for me because it was an eye opener on how much these heroes appreciate us just over a dinner yet they have done way more for us than a dinner.
            I am hoping to do more and more volunteer work because I really do believe that helping others and making their life better makes you a happier person. People never forget the way you make them feel and what you do for them and that will always live with me. Seeing the smiles on the veterans faces as they left with their food was such a great experience and their smiles were contagious. They were so grateful that you just wanted to give them dinner, lunch, and breakfast every day to see their smiles. I never realized how much doing one little thing could impact someone’s life so much and that right there makes me want to volunteer every day. Why sit around and do nothing when you can better yours and someone else’s life by helping others. I am appreciative of all the opportunities that I have gotten where I am able to help others and to better other’s lives.

            Maya Angelou’s quote, “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” this quote is something where I believe everyone should think about. I believe that being a part of your community and helping others, even if it is just dinner, makes them feel appreciated as they should be. I have learned a lot just by volunteering and I hope to volunteer more and more over the years and I plan on continuing volunteering at the Veterans Village throughout next semester and the years I am living in Tallahassee. Being a part of those veteran’s lives is a blessing and I can’t wait to continue learning more and more about them and sharing stories. This service project was a great experience and I was blessed to be able to take part.