“We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” -Ellen DeGeneres
This quote by Ellen is one I have always loved. We live in a world where people are always hurting and there is always darkness. When people do decide to take time to volunteer it is usually to fulfill a credit of some sort which should not be the only reason. Going outside of your comfort zones to be kind and bring smiles to people’s faces, especially those who are not as privileged as us. For my visit to Veterans Village back in September, I signed up for the fruit kabobs to bring. When I arrived, I helped set up the food station. When the veterans started arriving, I stood at the front of the line asking what sounded the best to them and filled their plates. Some of their responses were priceless, “Is the chicken spicy tonight?” “Oh no no no, no salad for me.”. These people had me laughing the whole time I was there.
I have always loved volunteering and the only other time I volunteered at a place like this was the nursing home my grandma was in, every other volunteer event I went to was typically underprivileged children or women’s homes. This experience was definitely not what I expected it to be. I had the opportunity to have some really inspiring personal conversations with some of the veterans. One in particular played volleyball. I have played volleyball since I was little and it has always been a major part of my life. Getting to hear his stories about playing was so cool. I really got to know some of them and I felt like I had known then a lot longer than an hour. I got to be someone to these people that they trust to just have no judgement. I sat there listening and connecting with these people and it was so life changing.
I think that it is so important for people to get out and help others during their free time. The changes that are made in other people lives when people take the time to help is something that we cannot truly understand. Their days and even lives can be changed by one smile, or one little thing that we do not think could mean a thing. Getting to hear stories from people who are older from their pasts is something you cannot do without getting out and experiencing it for yourself. Being a part of different people’s lives can really change lives and I think the more people that know that the better. I learned so much from this opportunity and I hope to continue going in the future.