Monday, May 29, 2017

Andrea Served at Veterans Village

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

            Growing up, I never had any problems that would drastically change my life. I had a family who loved me and who has always been there to nurture me. As I have grown older, I have discovered that I have two hands, one for helping yourself and a second hand for helping others which was originally quoted by Audrey Hepburn. Just like how my parents used one of their hands to constantly help me, it was important for me to hand one of my own to someone who needed it. The Veterans Village of Tallahassee utilizes their community to bring a housing program to the Veterans of Tallahassee. They serve homeless Veterans with a place to live, an area close to bus routes for transportation, and common utilities. The Village also offers basketball, horseshoe games, and a community garden. Although the village does an excellent job for accompanying the Veterans within the local community, it is still important to lend a helping hand.
            Professor Soldani has gone above and beyond to incorporate herself within this program. If it wasn’t for her, me and many other students would have never known about it. Her goal was to involve her students into something bigger than just the crucial election of 1912.  I had always saw her emails about volunteering but had never dedicated the time to getting involved until recently. I knew she had volunteered to serve food with Veterans, but had never given it much more thought. On the last trip to Veterans village, students donated things like towels, cleaning supplies, slipper, pillows, pillow cases, gift cards and anything else that would be beneficial to the Veterans.
            I had personally donated 12 towels to the cause because I knew that I was willing and able to help others who didn’t have access to simple necessities like a towel or cleaning supplies. After being able to afford an education and hop into a comfy bed with some clean sheets, it can be hard to put into perspective on how many others live. Although donating 12 towels may have not felt like much to me, I started to understand on what a difference I was making. Having the veterans get a brand new towel and home necessities from volunteers could have been like Christmas to them. These home necessities not only represent the kindness of the donations from the volunteers, but how little these Veterans truly have. These Veterans are grown men who have been blessed enough by a place like Veterans village. The donations and food servings also represents generosity and love that some Veterans may have not received in a long time. Being alone after some hardships to protect our country truly does a number on people, so I believe it is our duty as a community to give back to those who have taken up the opportunity to defend so many others.

            For everyone, it can be hard to find the love and caring that we all desire, especially when one has gone into battle and loses tough with what their life was like before. This is why I love the volunteering that is held at Veterans village because within each meal that is served, the thought of the Veterans is put first. Serving the Veterans for a little over an hour was one of the most enlightening moments I have had in a while. Me and a few other students had gathered around and mandated each other on who would serve what. You could see on all the Veterans faces how excited and eager they were to have such a variety of foods and a hot meal. All us students had also made sure to give a more than a handful of servings so the Veterans being fed would feel more stuffed. Even thought something so simple like dedication an hour of my time to help serve desert, I had never seen it make such a difference to someone else. All the Veterans had either nodded their heads in thanks, or told us how appreciative and thankful they were for us coming. The kindness the volunteers displayed at the village was immediately brought back. This shows how big of a difference one hour out of the week can change someone’s day and is something I will never forget in my freshmen year of college.