Maya Angelou once said, “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.” At a young age, my mom instilled in me the act of helping others through her commitment to helping foster children. When I was younger, my mother, a single parent, went through the entire process of becoming a certified foster parent to help children in need. I spent a portion of my childhood in foster homes with children who sadly did not have the same opportunities as me. This impacted my love to continue serving others.
In my previous service project proposal report, I spoke briefly about my intentions of a project with the local foster home. Sadly, my busy schedule prevented me from achieving this plan. Even though my “busy” schedule should not be an excuse for not helping others, my act of service was performed when I went home for Thanksgiving break. My mother, one of the most serving people I know, has been helping an older woman she saw once off the street of a state road. This woman’s story is incredible. When my mom saw her on the street she was in an old wheelchair with all her belongings. She was very skittish upon my mother approaching her. My mother went back a second time in hopes of getting through to her. The second time around she accepted food but still made very little to zero conversation. It took three tries for my mother to get through to her. The first time Carol saw my mother she was petrified because she thought my mother worked for the government. Carol had gotten her identity stolen by her ex husband, and without the sufficient funds, had not been able to properly address the situation. Before this entire mess Carol was a world traveler. She lived in Europe for a time and learned to speak Spanish and French. Even in her difficult situation Carol is still motivated to learn new languages, like Arabic.
While I have been up in school my mother has been making frequent visits to Carol. My mother and her husband switch off on visitations. They have also taken her to see lawyers to get her case looked at. Unfortunately, my mother moved two hours away recently and has not been able to assitant as much as before. But, before she moved my mother asked Carol all the ways she could contribute something to her. Carol asked for a storage unit to keep her stuff in because she does not like bringing all her belongings to the shelter. Someone had done it before but had stopped paying the monthly fee. Carol also ask that we right to our congressmen to ask for better conditions for the homeless. After saving up for a little, my mother and my step father invested in the storage unit for Carol. When I went down for break I joined my parents and drove down to help Carol move her things into the storage unit. Before moving all her things we stopped at my mom’s old house so Carol could shower in a private bathroom. Knowing I was going to see her, I brought Carol new socks and a sweater. I also made lunch and a sandwich for her to have for later. After moving her things to the storage unit we dropped Carol off. It was sad dropping her off knowing I could not provide a house or health insurance over night. I wish I could do anything and everything to make her life better.
Writing this essay was hard because I felt like I am bragging about doing the right thing. After being with Carol for about two to three hours, I was changed forever. I hope I made an impact in Carol’s life and that something as easy as making a sandwich or driving around made her day a little bit better, even if it was for the day.This experience has made me so grateful for everything I have: my house, my car, my bed. It is easy to forget how privileged I am and how there are people who do not have the same opportunities as I do. It saddens me that I cannot give someone my very fortunate life. I feel almost guilty for enjoying my life so much. After completing my “service” I am committed to doing more for the community. I want to be a change in someone’s life and one day hopefully make their lives as great as mine.