Tuesday, May 7, 2019

It helped me to get out of my little comfort zone - Veterans Village Dinner essay by S.D.

Southern Night Dinner
            “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” Said by Thomas Jefferson. This quote is a great way that sums up how I put my service to feed the Veterans at Veterans Village. I took action and decided to help, talk, and serve my community in an honorable way. It made me feel amazing and I loved the people I got to talk to while serving these heroes. My time was not wasted in this amazing project that my teacher does as extra credit. My job made me feel important and that I was actually making a small change in the community.
            My beginning thoughts on when signing up for this dinner would be just bringing food or going out and making food these crippled, nursing-home style veterans. My beginning motive was to just do this for extra credit and move on with life, but then as I looked into what I had to, my mind began to shift into a more heartfelt motive. The meal’s theme was Southern BBQ. Others had already signed up to bring the big meat parts of the meal so all that was left was to get sides. I could not really think of any good side dish to make besides coleslaw since it can be made overnight or that day. I went to the store the morning of the event and bought all the ingredients to make my yummy, traditional coleslaw. I put apple cider, mayonnaise, honey mustard, salt pepper, the chopped lettuce called coleslaw, celery seed, a little bit of special mustard (it contains the mustard seeds in it), and then my excellent mixing skills. I made two, large trays and drove to the college town looking building to serve my delicious coleslaw. Then, the small group of people that were already there and myself started to set up how the men and women were going to get their food. We came up with an assembly line. We had one section that was the dinner side, a drink side, and then a dessert side. The people lined up and everyone was either putting their supper on a plate or putting a nice dessert plate together for them. We filled plates until all the dinner was in a box. We smiled and talked to the wonderful veterans while they got their yummy food, and once everyone was gone, our group made extra plates to be stored. We cleaned up the kitchen, threw trash away, and left the building cleaner than when we came to it. The last thing we did was take a cute selfie with our teacher and said good-bye to the veterans as we left the area. We worked hard, but the time flew by fast. It was a great experience to be able to serve the many vets.
            I think my core values of being kind always to people, show a smile to brighten up the day, and just showing God’s love in everything you do helped me really open my heart. It helped me think of how courageous these men and women fought for our country to keep our freedom. It made me feel that even the simplest of tasks of just making food and smiling could make a huge difference to someone’s life. It helped me to get out of my little comfort zone because in the beginning I did not feel as open to talk or really look at anyone, but to just get the task done. So the helping and feeding the veterans really helped me be more comfortable with talking to people and being as helpful as I can to not just my classmates, but to also the veterans. My skills as a person probably including kindness, charismatic, and being able to not freeze up while doing a job. After opening up to some classmates by asking them how they are and what kind of degree they are going for helped me go into serving food easier. I would have stayed quite the whole time if I had not pushed myself to say hi to anyone or asked what I needed to do to help out. When the veterans did start to roll in, I was so happy and loved chatting with them about how they were doing and what their favorite dessert was to have to eat. I think my skills of cooking were appreciated whenever a vet asked what I brought. They would complement me and tell me they thought it looked yummy.  It was a gateway on having a conversation with them, which I feel helped me be more engaging in the whole service. These skills and values helped me have a great time serving and loving on others in a very simple way.
            This service project is amazing, and I do not understand how everyone did not want to jump onto this project. This is a great to get involved into your community and to use your services in the best and kindest way possible. People should, especially in college, get to know their community better by either going to spend time at nursing homes or by serving food to the veterans. This project is a great to start and to continue doing this service work because it does make a difference in the lives of the veterans and your life. It make my day feel a lot more productive and better. It made me feel happy knowing I had done some good into the community. I highly recommend this project to anyone because it helps others and puts their need in front of yours.
          . It was great to cook, talk and learn from others why they chose their degree and how people’s days are going. It gives you a sense of happiness and excitement. I loved my short time doing this project and I hope this project stays around a long time so that others can enjoy it as well. I hope I will get to have a chance like this again in the future.