“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” - Audrey Hepburn
Since I was a little girl I have always had the desire to take care of those around me and to give to those in need. Whether it was playing dress up as a doctor and doing fake exams on my parents as a child or picking out toys to give to a less fortunate kid, the love for caring and giving have always been with me. I believe that it was because of my childhood experiences, I decided to choose a major that is focused in on being able to help and give back to people that trust you with their life. I truly enjoy volunteering and had completed well over 150 plus service hours by the time I graduated high school. I still enjoy working at the local Metropolitan Ministries and serving as a youth leader at my church in my hometown Tampa, Florida. So when I had the opportunity to do a service project this semester in my American History class I was elated, especially because it was to help out soldiers, those wonderful men and woman of our armed forces, that are serving in our country and abroad to help keep us safe and protect our freedom.
For my service project I chose to send a box of goodies to our soldiers in Afghanistan. This was a service project I could get behind and I was so excited to take on this challenge to bring joy to our soldiers and give them a little piece of home while they are away. I have had several family members that served in our military and I thought about them while I did this project and how they must have felt when they were overseas fighting for our country. I know how hard it was for them to be so far away from their family and how scared they must have been in a foreign country and how alone they must have felt as the days went on. I asked them what they thought I should add in the box to send and they helped me get ideas from their personal experience. Even though we were provided with a list of things the soldiers would have wanted, I took it upon myself to do some more research on what a solider might like to receive being so far away from home and missing their families. I thought I would reach out to my family members that served in our armed forces and ask their opinion. I first called on my Uncle Eric who served 8 years in the Navy and I asked him what he would have liked to receive in a package from back home and he said any type of junk food. He then explained to me that the soldiers he served with loved to receive stuff like assorted chips, candy, and really anything whether it was sweet or salty. Next, I asked my second cousin Jerry, who is more like an uncle to me, what he would have liked to have received. He said candy of any type or packets of drink mixes to add to water, like crystal lights and Kool-Aid packets. Jerry went to and graduated from West Point and served in Desert Storm. He said he remembers these packages coming from the states and how much they really meant to the soldiers and how much they enjoyed feeling like a piece of home was with them. The thought of bringing joy to these soldiers made me so anxious to go out and start shopping for some of these goodies. I went down to my local Walmart and just went to town looking around and shopping for the things my family members suggested to get. It was really so much fun and I just kept thinking about who might receive it and what their reaction might be. I ended up purchasing two bottles of pizza flavored pringles, a bag of nacho cheese Doritos, cheez-its, fruit roll ups, a bunch of assorted candies and some crystal light flavored packets for them to add to their waters. Pride for doing this project came over me and I was so excited to make my next stop to the US Post Office and quickly have it mailed to them. At the post office, I picked up my box, went home, and got it all put together and ready to bring it back to be mailed out to our soldiers.
I could not be more proud to be an American and to have such brave family members that love our country as much as to risk their lives for the American people. This just shows how amazing of a country we live in and how sometimes we forget about the freedoms we are given and how these men and women are always protecting our country so we can live here freely and unafraid. I have the utmost respect for the very brave men and women who would do anything to protect our country.
I take a special interest in helping others and I get so much joy whenever I get a chance to do something for someone else or help anyone in any way. My major is nursing and one of the main reasons I chose this major was because of how much of a difference I could make in people’s lives by helping them. I am really interested in volunteering in a hospital in my hometown this summer so that I can get some more experience for what I already love to do. My service project ties together with my major because getting the opportunity to send a care package to the people out there fighting every day for us and just being able to give back to them even if it was just some snacks, felt amazing. I cannot wait to send more stuff to our soldiers and to continue to be a light in this world even just by doing small deeds.