“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn
For my service project, I completed a box to send to troops serving in Afghanistan. Included in my box was various snacks, a crossword puzzle activity, a notebook and colored pens, and most importantly a handwritten note thanking the servicemen and women for their exceptional and inspiring bravery. When creating my box, it was important to me to send items that I knew would make the servicemen and women smile and make them happy because I know that the challenges they may face and sadness while being apart from their families and serving our country. As a first-year college student, I have struggled with being away from home from time to time throughout this semester and it always makes me smile when my family sends me a care package full of things I love. Therefore, I included the crossword puzzles and notebook to allow some fun and activity in addition to the stress that can occur on a daily basis. In the past when I have done any volunteer or charity work, I have made meals or baked as a donation and I really wanted to be able to include something “homemade” to include.
Especially, being away in college, although it cannot compare to serving in the military, I know the feeling of wanting a home cooked meal. Putting snacks and candy in allowed me to contribute to that home feeling and honestly, who doesn’t love food! My favorite and the most important content of the box to me, was the handwritten note that I include to truly say thank you. I do not know enough servicemen and women to be able to express my sincere appreciation for all they have done to keep our country safe. Being able to include a note allowed me to communicate this to them.
Throughout my entire life, beginning when I was little, my parents have always instilled in me that giving towards others is the best gift I could give to myself. I think this truly sparked my love for helping people and being able to make a difference in someone else’s life. I enjoy giving gifts whether it be physical or just donating my time to someone or something in need. This connects to my core values in the fact that giving back to the community and to those who make a difference in our world is not something that I should hesitate on it. These values of helping people and giving back is something that should always be a part of me and something that I should always do. As a communications major, talking and interacting with people whether it is physically or digitally, is an essential portion of what I want to do with the rest of my life. Although I did not get a chance to physically speak to the servicemen and women, getting to express my appreciation through the box was a symbol of what I wish I could say in person. I always think of my communications major as a “talking major.” It all has to do with talking and how we communicate and interact with others. I feel that it is important to know how to express yourself in ways other than actually speaking and as a communications major, this is what I am learning every day. Sending a box is not me physically being able to say thank you but it is a symbol of what I feel and I truly hope that it is perceived in a manner where they know that my service towards them is truly appreciated.
It is important to me that my box was reflective of my appreciation for what they do to keep me and our country safe. The simplicity in the bravery that they endure is more than enough and I truly could not imagine the triumphs they could face while putting their life on the line and keeping others safe. I think that this box project is a great way to be able to contribute and give back to those who are doing so much for us. Although it is not in a physical aspect, knowing is the thought that counts. It is a great way to be able to say you made a difference in someone’s day and it’s an amazing way to make a difference in your own life. We often take the small things like snacks and crossword puzzles for granted as something we can achieve with the snap of our fingertips. Those serving our country are not always as lucky and I believe it truly makes a difference in our own lives when we have the ability to help others and make an impact in someone else’s life. The community impact from these boxes would be greater than imagined as they are simple ways to give back and show that giving comes from within. I truly believe you have to want to give back and if you aren’t fully invested, you will not receive the satisfaction and good righteous feeling that comes along with it and its impact to you and others surrounding you. It is not often that we all get to make an impact from doing a simple project. By participating in the service box project, I gave myself a lifetime of opportunity to give back and influence the community around me to do the same in a small and what seems effortless way. Unfortunately, I will no longer be a student in this class, but the journey of the project does not end here for me. I most definitely plan on spreading the word about a simple way to make a big difference. I want to be able to continue my efforts through this project and expand it through by bringing people along with me to do the same.