Rabindranath Tagore once said, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
For my service project, I was assigned to bring a casserole into Veterans Village. This was an assignment I was profoundly looking forward to taking part in. So much so, that I invited my roommate and my boyfriend to come along with me to share the experience. I spent all day calling different grocery stores to find the perfect casserole, but typical to my luck, every place was sold out due to the Thanksgiving being so soon. I was almost in a panic, scared that I wasn’t going to have anything to bring in because it would take too long to make my own casserole, at this point. I ended up making a ton of mashed potatoes at home. The potatoes came out quintessential and much tastier than any casserole I bought would have been.
Once I arrived at the Veterans Village, I immediately brought the food upstairs and helped to prepare the room for the veterans. Everybody’s food looked and smelled so enticing! Serving the vets food on that cold night warmed my heart. Everybody that came was so enjoyable and pleasant to be around. They were ever so grateful for us coming in and spending quality time with them. The vets were nonstop making jokes and laughing with us, as well as with each other. The best feeling was seeing the smile on theirs faces. You could really tell how appreciative each and every one of them was that we all came. I’ll never be able to forget that feeling I got from seeing how much I made a difference in their day. The most comical part was finding out that most of the vets weren’t even big fans of casserole! I guess it was fate to end up not bringing that.
I did this assignment with much enthusiasm because I bask in the privilege to make others happy. This assignment touched a special place in my heart considering that my uncle was a Marine Corps veteran. Disconsolately, he passed away from tongue cancer. It was difficult for me to cope with the loss, but the service project made me feel, in a way, like I was still able to get close to him even though he’s gone. I felt like I was helping his possible comrades and I know he would be so proud of me. Aside from my uncle, I have an enormous amount of respect for people that have served in the military. They put their lives on the line for this whole country. It is appalling to me that such a large number of them are mistreated once they retire. It was sad seeing that they end up having to stay at homeless shelters after they weren’t in service anymore. The least I could do for them was show some gratitude by doing community service after they have given up so much to keep this country safe. I know that the veterans were thankful for me, but really, I was exceedingly more thankful for them than they'll ever realize.
This assignment tremendously impacted my educational wisdom path in so many different ways. I am interested in looking more into social work and fields that relate to helping out homeless populations and helping out veterans. The most important way I was impacted was to appreciate more of what I have. In my opinion, it’s one of the most brilliant lessons to be learned, because it can shape my future to be a lot happier. I thought about how I should focus more on the things that I have then the things that I don't have.
I don’t “think,”I know that this service project impacted my community. I could tell from seeing everyone’s faces and feeling the positive energy that night that an impact was made. This service project had a chain reaction effect. By being assigned it, I brought along my friends, who have now started volunteering at other shelter. To this day, the community is continuing to benefit from this project. I intend to volunteer more at shelters and keep bringing more friends along as well. I would rather do something productive with my friends than be lazy with them at home. My friends were equally as amped up about the experience and they thought that it was time well spent.