Shakeera's Report

Service and Happiness
            “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others,” a quote by Audrey Hepburn. As I get older and start to see things through an adults’ eyes, I do find this statement to be true. I began helping some of the people in my family, especially, the older generation. Taking them where they needed to go and sometimes, I would have to show them how to use their phones and computers. I Felt I could do something to help myself, be a better me. I never thought that I would be back in school, after ten years, doing service projects and feeling amazing, after it was over. In my proposal, I talked about The Veterans Village, and how it already had a special place in my heart. My Uncle Fred, found The Veterans Village and was accepted there to restart his life.
My Uncle Fred served in the Navy, and after a few years, decided to not re-enlist. When he came home, he quickly found something else to do, “coke.” My uncle allowed the drug and/or drugs, to destroy so much of his life, family, friends, and relationships. Finally, after 20 years of being on drugs and/or being on the streets. My uncle took the first step and moved into The Veterans Village. The people who stayed there took good care of him and they motivated each other to be better. They were each other’s support system.
Me and my uncle, recently spoke on the phone, during the Thanksgiving Holiday break. I told him about my upcoming service project and informed him that I was baking macaroni to take to The Veterans Village. He was so proud and asked me, “why I was doing it.” I told him, “It was for a grade in my history class.” He told me, “O.K., let me know how it turns out.” I didn’t understand why he told me that but I said, “o.k.,” and hung up the phone.
The next month, on December 8, 2016; I baked the macaroni and used the family recipe. I was the first to make it to The Veterans Village and asked the two gentlemen, who were standing outside, where was the dining hall. Someone, then, took the macaroni out my hand and escorted me directly to the dining hall. As my teacher arrived, the veterans felt comfortable and started to come out of their rooms, lining up, to be served. Me, a young man, and two other young ladies served the entrees. Five other people, a couple of them were from my class, served deserts. We all brought a dish and had fun doing it. I felt amazing when I left, and upbeat.
This experience will have a major impact on my education. It has motivated me to study more and apply myself now, more than ever. If I feel like I wanted to give up, at any time of my life. I will think about my son, my uncle, and The Veterans Village and have a complete change of heart. Knowing what I know now, I will continue my education and not stop at the minimum of acceptance. I will go as high as I can, reaching limits, that I know, will open the door for others, to continue the path of greatness and service.
The experience that I had at The Veterans Village, sent me into happy mood and rubbed off on my friends and family. I grew up, right around the corner from The Veterans Village. A few of my friends and family, saw me leaving and called, I told them why I was there. They thought that it was great that I was giving back. Two of them asked could they come along the next time. I told them I would have to ask but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. The fact that I did it, influenced others in the community, that are around The Veterans Village. This will spread the word of service and that made me happy.
I finally talk to my uncle and told him how I felt, and what some of the family said. I also told him what my friends said. He told me, “That’s why I told you to, let me know how it goes.” He said he, “knew how I would feel,” and wanted me to know that, “we will all need somebody, someday in our life.” What I did for the veterans will come back to me, “tenfold.”  He also said, “many blessings.” I told him, “the true blessing was the joy that I felt, once, it was all over.” I told him, “it was a different type of happy.” He then told me, “Exactly like I just said, many blessings.”