“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’. – Brian Tracy. I chose this quote because it really spoke to me when I initially read it. I believe I am a successful person, maybe not successful money wise just yet, but successful in the way of always wanting to help others. Anytime I see someone struggling I immediately try and think about what I could do to help them out. Some people do not like receiving help from others, I admit, I am one of those people. Anytime anyone tries to offer me help I turn it down because I enjoy being independent too much. Not allowing someone to help you is a mistake, things usually turn out better when more minds are put together.
For my service project, I chose to volunteer at Veteran’s Village because in my opinion it is important to give back to the ones that live within your community. I remember when I was trying to find the building that veterans village is hosted in, I got lost! I remember calling a friend who served a few weeks before me and asking where is this place!? Luckily, I found the building. When I first pulled up, I am not going to lie, but I was the only one there and I was pretty intimidated. I was not even sure I was at the right place. I have been told my entire life that I should never be alone in unfamiliar places because I am a ‘young lady’. I told myself that I just needed to mind my own business and just climb the stairs and find the right room! I ended up climbing too many flights of stairs and an African American man in the building parallel waved at me and told me “Hey, you went up too many levels, go down one level! It’s on your right!” I was so thankful someone saw me wandering around aimlessly and guided me where I needed to be. I then knew that I was at the right place and the people I was about to serve were going to be nice, down to earth people. I brought fruit bags to veteran’s village to hand out with dinner. I really do believe they appreciated the fruit because it added a little sweetness in their lives. I was working alongside other college students who decided they wanted to experience the same thing I did, helping others. Dr. Soldani did not lie that it gets very busy all at one time and you have to scoop, pour, and pass all within like 30 seconds. Okay, okay, it was not that bad but, it did get pretty busy. My classmates and I had a lot of fun serving these lovely people and hearing quick glimpses of how their days went. I really do pray that I impacted someone’s day in a positive way. Maybe I did this by being cheerful and smiley while serving them their dinner or just by giving them a bag of fruit that they potentially loved. I am definitely a person who is always happy and smiling, so I hope that energy I had rubbed someone the right way and put a pinch of sunshine in their life. One of my main core values is being happy and positive no matter what. This particular service project really did allow for me to have the ability to brighten someone’s day. Just having the ability to make someone smile or impact in their day in a positive way is priceless. With that said, you do not want to feel sympathy for the men and women that come through the veteran’s village doors but, rather you try and be empathetic. Attempt to put yourself in their shoes so you can try and relate to something they are going through. If you respond too sympathetically to a someone, for example the men and women that came to dinner that night, you are only hurting them more because too much sympathy will stunt that individual’s growth out of the bad times that have occurred in their life.
Volunteering is something that everyone should try and do in their lifetime because it makes you feel good when you help others. Your life feels so much fuller when you can share yourself with other people who may be less fortunate. Like the quote says, to be successful in life you must help others. Success is not ultimately determined by how much money you make but by the opportunities you take as well. If you base your life mainly on pleasing yourself, you may feel like you are content but, in reality, you will never experience the feeling of what it feels like to give. You cannot just serve yourself, you must “help others to grow up and you grow with them.” After completing this service project, it made me feel like I was more a part of the Tallahassee community. I felt more connected and it felt good to know I helped feed men and women who potentially only had this one meal a day. I definitely look forward to completing more service projects in Tallahassee and serving many others throughout my lifetime.