We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that. - Ellen DeGeneres
Kindness, compassion, and laughter are all tools we use to connect with one another and the living world around us. They are meant to be shared; spreading good feeling to other and having those feels spread back to you in return.
That’s why I’m so happy I had the chance to make a difference to hungry Veterans at the Thursday Dinner at Veteran’s Village. For my service project, I baked two key lime pies and served them, along with a wide variety of other meals made by my fellow students and volunteers, to Veterans at Veteran’s Village. At the dinner, 8 or so of us volunteers served around 40 veterans’ huge plates of whatever they wanted, including lasagna, brownies, casserole, sandwiches, cake, and my pie.
It was a great feeling giving something too and being of service too veterans in need. I really love bringing a smile on people’s faces and I knew this would be a great opportunity to make a difference to someone, even if it was just for the day. I also knew that nothing brings a smile on people’s faces like homemade key lime pie. Key lime pie is one of about 5 foods I know how to cook, but I’ve been making them my whole life and I know how happy my friends (especially my girlfriend) get when I make some. Key lime pies are an important part of my life and have always made me happy, so I knew that’s what I wanted to give back to my society.
And the reactions I got serving the veterans really made my heart melt. As people waited in line for their dinner to be served, they would look over at me shocked and ask me if what I had was key lime pie, where I would respond yes and that I made it myself. Some people would get so excited, which made me so excited for them to try it. It must have been like the first ten or so people in a row all asked for key lime pie and it just felt so wonderful giving to needy people something I made for them.
After everyone was served and only four pieces of pie where left, a mother came into the kitchen as we were cleaning up. She was telling us about how she just got out of work and asked if there was any food left for her and her 3 daughters. Along with everything else we served her, I also gave her the last four slices of pie, one for her and each of her daughters. Holding her mass amount of food, she was so happy she gave everyone in the kitchen a big hug and thanked everyone. That was definitely my favorite part of the dinner.
I hope everyone liked the pie I made. I was serving food the whole time so I didn’t really have a chance to get any feedback from the veterans, but from the looks on their faces as they left the kitchens and from the goodbyes I got as I left the dinner, I know everyone really appreciated what the other volunteers and I had done for them. It was such a warm feeling I got walking to my car as I saw all the veterans eating together. It definitely made me feel more connected to the town of Tallahassee. It made me feel more like my hometown instead of my new home.
I think what impacted me the most from serving at this dinner was that it never occurred to me that we were also serving dinner to children. Lots of the veterans we served were eating with their families. Helping feed a veteran in need is a great thing, but to help feed the family and children of a veteran in need I feel is a completely different animal and I just feel so blessed that I was able to participate in this dinner and got to make an impact of the needy families of Tallahassee. Thank you so much Dr. Soldani and I’m sure the whole town of Tallahassee thanks you as well.