“Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger
I found that this quote says a lot about people like me. I love to help others because it’s the right thing to do and because I enjoy it. While I get to do that, I also feel rewarded and like I have made a difference in this hectic and, at times, cruel world. My core belief is that I know that I could make a difference in this world, I believe everyone has it in them. Because I could make a difference, whether it be for one person or for one hundred thousand people, there should be no doubt in my mind that I SHOULD make a difference. I have lived this out in my life in the past and will continue to do so throughout my life in the future.
For my service project, I sent a box of snacks, candy, and personal care items to a soldier stationed in Afghanistan. I chose this because it was unlike any other service project I had ever participated in. In the past, I have fed the homeless, participated in mission trips, and prepared back to school backpacks/gave them out to those in need, but I had never done something to make an impact on someone so far away from me.
I began by going to Publix with a friend and getting everything that I would put in the box. We planned to go directly to the UPS store after but had forgotten about writing a letter so we went back to our dorms and wrote the letter then proceeded to go to the UPS store. When we arrived we were told that they were not a real UPS store and that we should go to the on campus (at FSU) one. We were unable to because the time was getting really close so we were going to either do it the next morning in Tallahassee or in the following days in Miami when we went down. We ended up having to stick with the second plan because we did not have enough time to do so in Tallahassee.
In Miami, we first went to the nearest UPS store to our homes but when the person working there weighed the box he said it would cost around $600 to get it sent to Afghanistan. Obviously, we do not have the money to be able to do that so we left and searched Post Office near me. We found one around one or two miles away and went straight there. We walked in nervously as we were unsure how any of this process went because we had never shipped anything before. First, we are told to use the Flat Rate box, which was a little smaller than the bo that would be able to fit everything. I had to remove a bag of chips and a bag of candy from the box because they really did not fit in the smaller box. When we asked for help we were looked down upon and talked to in a rude manner. In addition, we were being told in a sassy way that we needed to fill out yet another paper right after we had just finished filling one out prior. This process happened at least four or five times back to back. The people working there would get upset at us because we did not know anything and this, to be completely honest, took a lot of the joy out of sending the box.
Now that I am writing this around two months later I still feel bothered by this part of the entire project and how it went about; however, I realized that I would 100% participate in another project like this in the future. The rewarding feeling of giving back to someone so far away from me really is like no other. I am thankful for being able to show my respect, gratitude, and love for a soldier fighting for me so far away. In the future, I plan on being either a physician, dentist, or possibly a lawyer. All of these careers follow a path that I want to take. I plan on helping others for all my life because I believe that I am able to help and I should help others because it is the right thing to do. I am thankful for the opportunities I am given to help others in ordinary and extraordinary ways and for Dr. Soldani for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in such an unconventional way. Throughout this semester I have learned many lessons through this class. I have learned, first of all, more history than I have in my entire life, and I truly enjoyed it. I also learned valuable lessons about myself and about making a difference to others that I will carry with me throughout my college life and beyond.