“When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people.” -Jens Stoltenberg
For as far as I could remember, my parents have always instilled the value of altruism in me. My dad always made sure for the holidays that we would donate toys and clothes and food to those who are less fortunate than we were. So, this assignment of doing an act of community service made me excited and hopeful that maybe it’ll even inspire others to do more random acts of kindness and charity. For my first service project, I put together a care package for soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. The box contained food, snacks, games, activities, and a letter, thanking them for all that they do. Charity for soldiers and even veterans has always hit home for me, for my dad is a veteran, as well as my uncle and most of my family friends.
My dad was a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces before there was the technology that we have today, so it was harder for him to come back to home in America and the only way for him to keep in touch with family and loved ones was through writing letters. Hearing how they speak about their time deployed makes me realize how tough it might be to be away from your family and friends, being thrown into a warzone in a war they might not even agree with, they just want to protect their country.
My current major is computer science (although the artistic side of me is speaking out rather loudly for me to switch it), and I feel as though charity isn’t as major in it as it should be. On the surface, most people don’t see it as a major that is somewhat altruistic, in my opinion, it could help more than we expect. For example, those who graduate can use their skills to develop maybe a program that can be easily installed into school computers that can teach even less fortunate children how the basics of technology. I’m thinking of changing my major to graphic design and minoring psychology, and studying a way to create a new type of art therapy for veterans with PTSD. My father also has PTSD, I’m lucky enough that it’s not as severe as his soldiers had, but I would still like to find a way to help those going through a much more severe case of this condition.
I’m hoping that this act of service just brightens up someone’s day. I love making people smile and especially laugh, so to know that maybe I helped make a tired soldiers day better makes me happy on the inside. And maybe this could inspire that soldier to do the same and send something to deployed soldiers when he’s a veteran.
I chose this quote because I felt like it reflected how a soldier may feel. “When autumn darkness falls” can represent maybe a hard day out in the battlefield or a day where maybe they’ll miss home a little more than usual. I’m hoping that maybe my small act of kindness can cheer them up or give them hope about the good that’s in the world. And I’m not the only one who sent these boxes, hopefully those soldiers in distress will feel cared about, when all else seems to be going wrong.