Thursday, February 2, 2017

Service Project Proposals #40-49

#40: Helping Preschool and Ronald MacDonald House
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  Nelson Mandela. If you ask anyone who knows me they will tell you how big of a heart I have for others. I am the type of person who almost always puts others needs before myself. When I graduated high school I had every intention of becoming a nurse. After much thought and consideration I have chosen to get my degree in Elementary education. 3 years ago I was blessed with a position at a preschool and have been the afternoon teacher for the 2 year old classroom. I absolutely love my job and know In my heart that I am meant to teach.  It is so amazing and rewarding to see the changes the children make while in my class. Teaching is one of those professions in which the job is never fully done. I learn so much from each and every one of my students daily and I look forward to the future when I am a kindergarten teacher and can use the skills these 3 years have taught me.
I strive to help the preschool I work at become the best it can be. For my service project I will be collecting the labels for education and putting them in the system for our preschool to gain money from them.  With that extra money we will be able to purchase new school supplies for the children to use to further their education. Books, paint, etc. are used daily in our classrooms and are not very cheap to replace. I will organize it so the parents can bring them in and I will collect and count them. 
I would also like to start collecting soda tabs for the Ronald McDonald house. Having so many families at the preschool we will be sure to get quite a few of them. I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house in 2010 and was then fully aware of what all the house actually does. They help the families of children who are sick and have to stay in hospitals for a while. Some can't afford to stay put in hotels for that long and the Ronald McDonald house helps them out by giving them a place to stay. 

In doing these service projects I will be helping not only my community out, but also teaching myself how I can make an impact.  We are all so blessed in many ways in our lives and so giving back to my community helps me understand  that and be appreciative of what I have. Teaching is so rewarding to me as well and it makes me very happy and excited to know that collecting box tops will one day help my students learn by providing more resources! My heart is always looking for new ways to help others and I'm very excited to start these new projects at my job!

#42: Music
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent”. – Victor Hugo
            Growing up always has its ups and downs, and to be fair, most people can and will get through it. However, for many others, such may not be the case. Even when I was growing up (which wasn’t even that long ago) there were a lot of emotional challenges that I faced. Not to get too targeted on myself but things were rough. Not even so much financially, but mentally. We live in a society that generally likes to throw mental illness to the side and always put it on the back burner. People constantly make suggestion on how each person going through something should deal with it when, honestly, every person has their own method. My method for the past ten years or so has been music.
            Personally, I know what it’s like having depression; and a lot of people are unaware how different mental illnesses or emotions in general can link up and coexist, for a better understanding of words. Using myself as an example, having anxiety links to different symptoms of other mental problems like depression, derealization/depersonalization, mood swings, panic disorders, social phobias, and even migraines. I have actual dealt with all of these and they are easily some of the absolute worst things I have ever faced. That is until I started getting really focused and interested in music. I use music, whether it be beat production, songwriting, or just listening to music. 
            Once this became a practice/habit for me, music was seen by me as more than just some melodies in a song, or words from a person, or even more than just a simple song. Music became a gateway where if I was the one making it, I get to express myself freely, to any limit I set for myself. It’s all my emotions, thoughts, and feelings all wrapped up into a ball of energy that you can hear. And I know that sounds kind of corny or far-fetched, or even dumb to some, but this is something that honestly contributed to making feel like I had purpose. The feeling of making something you’re proud of, or that feeling of listening to something that relates to you in such an uncanny way that you start feeling like the artist looked into your soul and translated it all into musical form, it’s just indescribable to me.
            I know I can’t be the only person that feels this way, so for my service project proposal, I want to share different music with different purposes, of all genres to random people, whether it be a written note given to a stranger in Wal-Mart, or sitting down with somebody on campus discussing a newly-released single from an artist, I’d like to share the love of an art that continues to connect us more and more each day. And I believe that this is something that can truly make a difference.
Good start -- let me know if you have narrowed this to a specific event or action. Would you like to play music at Veterans Village Dinners? 

#43: Coaching
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet. 
When I was in 6th grade I came across the sport of lacrosse and I immediately fell in love with it. Now, 8 years later, the sport has grown tremendously but there is still a large number of people who don’t even know what lacrosse is. For my service project I wanted to help grow the game of lacrosse in my home town. I went to Martin County High School in Stuart, Florida (30 minutes north of West Palm). My freshman year of high school was the first year my coach and I can now call him my friend took over as the head coach of Martin County Boy’s Lacrosse program. This was the first year that the school has a boys lacrosse program and Coach VanTassel had to build the program from the bottom. My senior year of high school I was getting recruited by a couple of Division II schools and Coach VanTassel planned trips and rooming arrangements for all of the visits. After getting injured and not going off to school and staying at the local state college, I asked Coach Vantassel if I could help out the team since I knew they needed another JV coach. I volunteered my time every day of the week to help teach these kids learn and improve their game. I felt like since my coach worked so hard for me and for my other teammates that I could give back to him and help out the community in the process.
For my project I got with my former coach, Coach VanTassel, and asked him if we could set up a free clinic for entry level players or anyone who wants to get into the sport of lacrosse. I will have to go home for a weekend during the semester and we would hold the clinic on a Saturday at the high school. Coach VanTassel can get a few of the better players on the team also come out and help volunteer. It would be a four-hour clinic with the first two hours will consist of stretching and understanding the proper rules and fundamentals of lacrosse. The third hour will consist of drills to help them work on their stick skills, ground ball work, and communication. The final hour will consist of fun games that will also help improve their skills and will give them an idea of what it is like to play full speed. With this clinic I hope to expand the game of lacrosse to the youth in my home town, help contribute to my community, and also help grow America’s fastest growing sport.

#44: Good Samaritan Bags
Ellen DeGeneres once said, “We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” Though this quote is unclear about what this means to DeGeneres, the more I reread the quote and the more I think about it, I begin to realize that this quote is not restricted to a certain idea. Like a work of art, the true meaning behind this quote is up for your own interpretation. Once I was able to narrow down service project ideas down to one, I knew this quote would perfectly explain the reasons why I chose this specific service project. 
As a kid, I grew up going to the same grocery store multiple times a week with my mom. Every time we went to Wal-Mart, and the Taco Bell that was nearby, I began to notice there were people outside holding signs and taking money from people by the road. They always looked dirty and sickly but mostly sad. The sight of these reappearing men and women, and sometimes dogs, made me feel very uncomfortable. However, I always felt sympathetic towards them and I wish there was something I could do. One day, my mom and I were leaving Wal-Mart to grab some food at Taco Bell. While we sat at the table in the restaurant, a lady who appeared to be pregnant walked up to the sidewalk by the entrance outside. This lady was one of the many homeless people that surrounded the Wal-Mart area on a regular basis. She remained outside, pacing back and forth until she finally sat down on the concrete ground. With the look of pity in her eye, my mother walked outside to talk to the lady then proceeded to walk back inside and get back in line to order food. I watched my mother approach a complete stranger with compassion and mercy and give someone something with nothing in return. As I’m sure my mom has helped many more homeless men and women before that time, from that day forward, I began to notice the desperate needs of homeless people like never before. Years later, I’m still going to the same grocery store surrounded by homeless people who created a village-like place in the woods nearby. 
Now that I am challenged to come up with a service project that not only expresses what I believe to be my skills but voices what I believe is a true injustice, I am able to come up with a way to help homeless men and women feel noticed. For this service project, I will be creating Samaritan bags, which I learned about from my mom and from church. These bags consist of bottles drinks, like water and Gatorade, nonperishable foods, and hygiene items. As I approach a homeless person, I am now able to feel confident that I am helping to the best of my abilities instead of feeling unsure about giving them money. By giving them these bags I am reassuring myself that they are getting exactly what they ask for instead of them using the money they receive to purchase alcohol, cigarettes or drugs. However, I am reassuring myself that I am truly helping someone in desperate need. Though I have little to give, I know their most basic need and I vow to provide that for them as often as I can. With this is mind, I feel confident that I am not only providing them with the basics, but with hope and with love. My true intention for this project is to make homeless men and woman feel noticed, and loved. I want to restore hope and make them feel like people do care. Although food and water are two of the most basic needs, I believe that hope and love are just as equally important. With that in mind, I use Ellen DeGeneres’ quote to help explain why I want to reach out the homeless. I want to be a part of spreading more compassion, kindness, joy and laughter into the world and into homeless people’s lives to make the world a better place.

#45: Visit Retirement Home
Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.
― Martin Luther King Jr

For my service project, I’m going to go to a retirement home with my friends for a couple of hours to entertain old people. My goal is to let war veterans regale a couple of my friends and I with war stories.
Very short proposal!!! I hope you are able to go more than once, and make sure  you visit people who really need visitors. There are great, lonely people who have no war stories who might need your time.

#46: Volunteer at ASPCA
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. - Rabindranath Tagore

For my service learning project I want to work with ASPCA of Tallahassee.  I just recently rescued a cat and have always had a passion for animals. There are many pets without homes and many that have homes but are treated incorrectly. I want to do what I can to help society take care of these animals in need. I also want to help them spread awareness that having a pet is a big responsibility and  that they deserve to have rights and be treated well. I would like to help the pets find homes and give them some of my love. I am horrified that people can treat pets disrespectfully and I want to do everything in my power to help them. What I want to do within this organization is volunteer. I would like to volunteer weekly at their shelter and help with spreading awareness. Other then volunteering I am also interested in behavioral rehabilitation, I want to help pets that have been abused and mistreated and help them live a happy life. Pets need therapy to get over problems from bad pasts just like people do. I am very good at listening and making my friends feel better so I feel as if I could be helpful to these pets. TCC is a perfect place to spread word and find homes for these pets. I can make flyers and help the organization be involved with TCC and set up booths and other events because what college kid doesn’t like cute pets! 7.9 million pets enter animal shelters every year, with that many pets needing help I am sure they are always in need of help and volunteers. I always helped lost and hurt animals in my past and nursed them back to help. The feeling I got after saving these animals is a feeling that is fantastic. I already have so many friends interested in volunteering. Me and a few others are already involved with peta so I have the knowledge to spread awareness quickly. It doesn’t take much to make a pet happy and their love is so endless that people take advantage. For what pets give to us, love and joy, we do not deserve to treat them disrespectfully. Pets deserve rights just like us people do and because I love animals and the way that they can change and help peoples lives I want to remind everyone around me to treat them with respect.

#47: Soccer
"The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.” 
The imagination and determination of a child is endless.  Everyone decides they’re dream when they are younger.  Most of us wanted to be doctors, astronauts, or even famous professional athletes.  As we’ve grown older following that passion and how to become one, some stick with their passion and most move on to another career.  As adults we should share on our knowledge and give motivation on pursuing a dream job.                  
 In my neighborhood I see a few kids that play soccer in the street.  They play with no supervision or leadership on how to properly play.  When one kid wants to show his pride in how dedicated he is to the sport, he wears his cleats while playing on the road because there is no yard big enough for them to play.  As an athlete that has experience in multiple sports that require the use of cleats, I know that running on hard rock surfaces with cleats is not the best for them.  It wears the spiked or rubber bottoms out.
As a good community service project, my two roommates and I decided on taking one of the kids with us when we would go train at a soccer field or any kind of field whether it be basketball or football too.  Of course we obtained permission from the parents.  We don’t want to seem like creeps but as role models.  We teach the kids how to properly kick the ball for scoring and passing.  On Sunday afternoons, we play a pick-up game of soccer at Tom Brown Park.  One of the older boys was brave enough to play with the adults.  Luckily he did well and comes out with us to play with us sometimes.  It’s good to see a kid enjoying the sport and have the raw determination that you once had.  Being a mentor, we are able to give proper guidance to kids who probably don’t have relatives involved with the sport like some of my friends and I.  Being self-taught in many different sports gives me the desire to spread my learnings so that the younger generation doesn’t have to take the hard route of learning a sport.  Kids that aren’t doing as well in the sport as their friends come along with us to get better.  Us leading by example passes down to some kids and they start teaching their friends.  We want to make a very needed impact in our community by giving the kids we know that want to be serious in a sport a chance.  Who knows, they could end up being the next Messi or Odell Beckham.

#48: Miami-Lakes Shelter
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”- Audrey Hepburn. 

When I was younger I thought the world use to revolve around me and it was always about getting what I wanted. I grew up in Miami-lakes, Florida in a single parent household. I watched my mom struggle to make ends meet and I always thought we were just poor but I didn’t understand how much it costed to live in Miami at the time. I went to schools where most of the students had both parents and a huge family that they could rely on if anything went wrong. We didn’t have that. Short story short, later in the years there came a time that our financial struggle led us to become homeless. Since we did not have any nearby family we were forced to live in a women’s shelter for about 6 months.
            The first few nights were very traumatic and scary. It felt like a prison and everyone kind of fought over the food that was in the pantry. Although no one at school knew my situation it still made me feel like less of a person because it didn’t have a big house or was able to eat whenever or whatever I wanted. There were to other families of three and 6 other women living there. Resources were very scarce and made me a bit curious. I asked myself why weren’t there a lot of resources even though we spend a lot of time donating at work and school to these shelters. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and depressed because of the whole situation but I learned that one should not be selfish, everyone needs to help each other out whenever possible, and be kind. You never know what someone is going through,
            Somewhere between March and April I will like to take a visit back to the shelter I once lived in and donate some clothes and food for the women and children there. I know what they are going through and every bit counts. I want to give back to the place that only runs on donations and took my family in when we had nowhere else to go. I will ask my friends to help me set up some boxes of resources to fill up and take over to the shelter. The boxes will include perishable and non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items, and clothing for women and children.

#49: Coaching

“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible” – Einstein

All my life I’ve played sports, which makes me love to be around and kids and socialize. Throughout my High School days, I spent numerous hours helping out the local Little Leagues and Rec. leagues teaching kids the right way to play sports. So for my service learning I plan to go out and coach or volunteer coach children to teach them the reason to love sports. Not only do I love to be around the kids and seeing them learn the sport the way I did, I love to learn some new things from them too. That’s the best part about branching out and doing new things because not only will I hopefully be impacting these children’s life’s they’ll also impact mine! Yes, most of the time I will be teaching them the sport but also I will be teaching them how to interact with each, its crazy to think that me just spending a couple hours a week with these kids could possibly impact their life’s for many years down the road. This will be a great experience for not just the kids, it will be a great opportunity for me too, this opportunity could help me with my major as well. This opportunity will teach me how to be a leader and hopefully teach me to branch out and not be shy anymore. Many careers that involve a business degree look for leaders, so this will teach me how to get the attention of people and make sure they look up to me and know how to have fun at the same time.  This Service project should be done because as the years go on more and more kids are getting hooked to the new technology being made, when they’re missing out on playing sports. Also even with coaching maybe I will get something involved with these rec sport leagues getting people to go out and talk to parents on why they should make their kids play sports. Playing sports at a youth age was probably the best thing that my parents ever did for me. It taught me how to love the sports, but also teaching me how to interact with my fellow teammates and even how to talk to new people and create new friends. I look forward to this experience with the youth in this county not only for my experience mainly to put a impact on their lives!