Sunday, December 11, 2016

Service Project Report: Emily & Veterans Village

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. you don't have to have a college degree to serve. you don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. a soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

I chose to do my service project at the Veterans Village of Tallahassee. The Veterans Village of Tallahassee is a group of apartments where homeless veterans can live. There are sixteen units with four bedrooms and four bathrooms in each. The community has basketball courts, computer labs, an exercise room, jogging trails, and a community garden. Students bring food about every two weeks or so to feed the residents. Different teachers bring different groups of students. The community also assists with housing, mental health services, training, education, counseling and employment assistance. My role was signing up for a dish of my choice online and then preparing it at home. I always chose macaroni and cheese because I felt that it is delicious and also a very comforting dish. It reminds me of good times during my childhood so I was hoping it would have the same effect for them. I would then bring it to the Veterans Village where it would be served to the residents. Each student did not really have set duties which made things interesting. When you would show up to the village, you were asked to just jump in and help wherever help was needed. Sometimes I actually plated and served the food but other times there were enough servers so I stood in the front and greeted everyone. I was drawn to this organization at first because heard about it and thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved. I also thought it would be an awesome way to give back to the people that protect our country. They put their lives on the line so the least that I could do is cook them a simple dinner. Often going off to war disrupts their lives in certain ways and they come into undesirable circumstances when they come home. I think its great that there are organizations that are able to pick up veterans and put them back on their feet. They deserve as much help as they can get. They not only just help them out with housing and food but this organization helps them try to get integrated and be able to eventually stand on their own. I loved doing service for this class. I used to do a lot of service in high school and once I started college I got caught up in solely focusing on school to the point where that was all I did. I was happy when I came to TCC and found out that service was a requirement for one of my classes. I loved doing service before so I was happy to come back to it. The first time I went to the Veterans Village I was on of the servers. I enjoyed conversing with the residents and also seeing their faces when they got up to the counter. One thing that struck me was that they were so grateful for us to be there. I thought to myself that they have nothing to thank me for but I have everything to thank them for. The second time I went to the village, I enjoyed a hands off approach and was able to talk to the veterans. I still cooked but I handed my food off to another group of people so they could serve the most successful and quickest way. This day we had a lot more veterans came in. I learned some of their stories and enjoyed talking to them. I am very appreciative for what they have done for myself and the country. I am glad that I had a chance to tell them that. Just saying hi and have a nice day made them a little bit happier so I was excited to do that for them. This act of service impacted me by being more aware of those in need. I forgot to take time out of my schedule to focus on others for a chance. I became so preoccupied with my studies that I felt that I had no time for anything else. Service does not have to take a long time. I found that taking a couple hours to do some service provided a constructive break for my studies. Starting to do service has a great effect on continuing to do service. Doing good feels good and I am happy to do anything I can to help.