“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
My first trip to Veteran’s Village I made my famous bbq pulled pork. I was there a few minutes late but hurried up the stairs and it was served right away. I brought my wife with me on this occasion and we had several interactions with some of the different veterans. My wife and I helped carry food back to some of their rooms. While doing this we also had a chance to talk to them and hoped we made them have a great day. We also helped take out the trash before we headed home. My second trip to Veteran’s Village was Italian night. I brought chicken alfredo. This trip I just dropped the food off and spoke to a few of the veterans before I left. My third trip to Veteran’s Village was Latin night and I made a chicken and sausage rice jambalaya. This also was a short trip as I dropped the food off and had to head back to work.
Every trip I made to Veteran’s Village was very meaningful to me and I felt a sense of accomplishment every time I drove away. I actually spent quite a bit of time hand making each dish that I brought and felt I would be able to provide much more food than if I went to the store and bought it. That and I am in college and on a budget. I wanted it to be a meaningful experience and it was. A few of the stories that I heard while there were sad and touching. You could just feel a sense of gratitude and relief when it was a day your class was bringing food to them even if they didn’t say thank you. You could tell they were happy. That first trip I made with my wife scared me a little bit when you told me that some of the residents had previous problems with sexual assault and other issues in that regard. I think you were just telling me that as a precaution. Over all my experience there was a positive one of gratitude and humility and I thank you Dr. Soldani for letting me be a part of it.
I think anyone that has the time or resources should contribute in any way that they can. Not only are you helping others, but you are helping yourself. I found that giving time and money to causes like the Veteran’s Village was a very fulfilling experience and I would encourage others to give selflessly also. I think when you give to others selflessly you will receive back what you give. You may not receive it back in the form of money or gifts, but you will get something back that is worth so much more. You will have a feeling of happiness, humility, and gratitude for what you already have.
Thank you Dr. Soldani for teaching a great class and allowing me to take part in an experience like the ones at Veteran’s Village.