“When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people.”
After history class, I packed lunch bags full of non-perishables for veterans who lived at the Veterans Village. The first week I participated, I went and bought 60 bags of chips at Publix and everyone else brought crackers, cookies, fruits, and canned goods. I was told this meant a lot to the veterans because not a lot of them know how to or even have the resources to cook a balanced meal for themselves, and these people felt like they didn’t have anyone who cared about them. As soon as I found out about these projects I was eager to start, because I was taught to give veterans nothing but respect. I made a couple new friends that I wouldn’t have even tried talking to anywhere else, and felt a general sense of community packing these lunches with my new friends and Dr. Soldani.
Even though it is just bagging lunches, it exercises your core values because it takes your money, your effort, and your time. All of those are valuable, but we learn to grow, prioritize, and figure out what’s really important. These people need someone to know they care about them because you never know what they are going through. I felt much happier for the rest of the day after I was done packing these lunches because I know I did something meaningful to many people! Not only did I feel much happier, but I continued to do nice things for everybody I interacted with the rest of the day. I was more understanding, less confrontational, and motivated to help people. These actions did something to my character, which automatically made me sign up for the following week.
When I contributed, I felt much warmer and I felt as if my day wasn’t empty. I felt complete, like my day mattered. I sometimes go to bed wondering if my day actually mattered or if it just blended into the rest of them. That particular day stuck out like a sore thumb. I looked forward very much to the next time I could help out because I felt as if I had a meaningful purpose and I knew it helped people I care about in the city that I love. If it worked on me, it would work on anybody! I think anyone that takes Dr. Soldani’s class should participate in this project because not only it boosts your grade, but it boosts your morale and spirit to help people around you.