Showing posts with label Fall2017. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall2017. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

E: At the beginning of the semester you said that we don’t need a college degree to change the world


AMH2020 student*

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” - Audrey Hepburn. For my first service project I choose to volunteer at veterans village. This was a very eye opening for me because I don’t have anyone personally in the military but I moved to a military town when I was ten. 
Being from Jacksonville and having two military bases near by I always see veterans and in my head I had this preconceived notion that all veterans were wealthy when they came out I mean they had just served our nation why wouldn’t they be able to live a comfortable life once they got out. So to go to an apartment complex for veterans who were in a transitional period was so interesting to me. This project fits in perfectly with my major because I want to be an elementary school teacher. How does this fit in? Well I want to work in a title nine school, which is 100%, funded by the government, so all of the kids I will be working with will live in the projects and their own parents will be going through a transitional period as well. Working with the veterans showed me that not all people who live in government funded homes are drug or alcohol addicts in fact most if not all of them looked like nice upstanding men who just don’t know what they want to do in life yet. 

At my core I believe in love and respect. So this project has everything to do with that. The love aspect is covered from seeing all of the college students take time out of their crazy schedule to cook or buy supplies to bring to the veterans. WE all have lives outside of school so to take the 1-2 hours out of our day to go and help those less fortunate says something all on its own. I firmly believe that by going and making someone else’s day by a simple act is a sign of love. Sure I may never see these men again but I like to believe that by my one thing of chicken wings or by the one normal conversation then that small slice of goodness transferred over to them filling their heart with a little bit of happiness and love. 

No matter who you are I think that we all have respect for the men and woman in the military but these men that we served deserved a different type of respect. You had to have respect for the fact that yes their life may be a little rocky and mess but you had to respect the fact that they did not want to be looked at or treated any differently due to this. These men wanted to be looked at the same way we look at our peers. You had to go in there and respect that boundary and by doing that you really got to connect with the men coming to get food. I learned more about these men and their lives in that one hour by just being genuine and real with them then I think I would have learned in 5 days of serving them in a row.

 I like to think by serving these men it impacted them in more ways that I could even imagine. These men are transitioning from the military and adjusting back into society so I would hope that by serving these men it provided with a feeling of belonging, community and acceptance. With the stress of trying to find a job get food reconnect with loved ones wondering where their next meal will come from is something that they shouldn’t worry about. By doing this for them I think that it provides the men with the feeling of hope if they are having a hard time being back. Being kids coming and spending time with them I feel like it may give them hope that there is still good in the world after the war or wherever they may have been. 

Overall this project was more eye opening and inspiring then I ever thought it would be. At the beginning of the semester you said that we don’t need a college degree to change the world. At first I had the mindset that you don’t need it but it certainly would help, however after this experience helping those who may have a degree changed that. It made me realize a paper with some fancy title doesn’t define me, I define myself and I can change the world one small act of kindness at a time. “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” - Audrey Hepburn.

T: To be able to give help to anybody who is in need, in a day of age where people seem to only care about themselves, is great.

“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
            I chose to serve food for the military veterans at Veterans Village for Thanksgiving. I was
responsible for bringing enough mashed potatoes to serve forty or more people. I actually like
mashed potatoes a lot, but I had never prepared such a large amount. As a bachelor, I generally
prepare instant mashed potatoes, so I don’t think I quite knew what I was getting into. I ended up
using a little more than fifteen pounds of potatoes. One thing I found funny, was you always see
soldiers peeling potatoes in these old war movies and here I was at eight in the morning doing
the same for the veterans. One thing I severely underestimated was the amount of time it would
take for fifteen pounds of potatoes to boil and how long it would take until they were soft.
Within thirty minutes of having to be at Veterans Village, I was still mashing potatoes, which
worked out for the best as they where still warm. Other than my food, we had quite the feast for
the veterans. I couldn’t thank the gentlemen enough who brought the two turkeys pre-carved, it
really helped a lot. Also, your ham was truly delicious. I was also really impressed with the
young lady who brought all those pies, she must have been baking for days. Overall the food
looked amazing and I think any family would have been proud to have it as their Thanksgiving
dinner.
            I chose this project because my dad was an Army veteran and I know he would of really
liked me helping the veterans. To be able to give help to anybody who is in need, in a day of age
where people seem to only care about themselves, is great. An ex-girlfriend of mines father was
a tunnel rat in Vietnam, who suffered from what I considered to be an extreme form of PTSD.
By the time I came into contact with him, he was homeless and dying from lung cancer. The
effort I saw from the V.A. in assisting this man was truly great and to now know there are
organizations such as Veterans Village stepping up to get these veterans of the street is also
inspiring. Veterans deserve all the assistance the government and citizens can give them. We
might not always agree on why we are fighting a war or support the president that is in office,
but we can all agree these men and women deserve our respect. I’m glad that at least in todays
day in age for the most part, America supports and even loves their veterans, so that we will
never have a repeat of the Bonus March. There always seems to be at least one veteran in
every family, which gives people a real reason to support our troops.
            The veterans we served on Thanksgiving were all great to be around and so full of life. It
was cool to see how upbeat they were and how happy they were to get a home cooked
Thanksgiving dinner. Once the food was all set up and the veterans were all lined up, we began
serving the food. Once we did start serving the food, it went in a blink of an eye, there fully fed
people everywhere. I served all the meats, while your professor friend (who was an immense help) servedall the side dishes, the young lady dispensed her pies, and the young man gave out drinks. I did
find it funny that all the students there were from the Sarasota/Bradenton area of Florida. I even
went to the same high school as the young man, just many years earlier. I do wish I got to
interact with the veterans a little more, as we all know veterans like to tell a story, which
sometimes the best medicine is having somebody to talk to. After we were done a few of the
veterans stuck around to help clean up and help make left over plates for those who weren’t able
to attend the dinner. All in all, the time I got to spend with the veterans was amazing. I think we
really made their days and if anything showed that there are people out there who truly do care.
Yet, as a society there is more that we can do and I hope to see this change in the future.
            What you do to help support these veterans is truly inspiring, sometimes people just need
to be shown what they can do to help and where they can start. I hope what you do inspires the
kids you have taught through out the years to be proactive and donate their time in some way.
Giving that plate of food to homeless man, was inspired by the day and the lesson you were
trying to teach each student, which is we can always do more. My original major was Radiology
Technology, but I ran into a road block. I am now one more semester away from completing my
A.A. degree. I choose Rad Tech because I wanted to help people and still make a decent living.
Hopefully in the future whatever path I choose allows me to help people and live a good life.
People just need a chance to succeed and I hope places or organizations such as Veterans
Village, continue to give people a chance to succeed.
            I am so sorry, but in the rush of the day, I never thought to take a picture of myself and
veterans at Veterans Village. Of course, I would forget something. Well thank you for a great
lesson on how our actions can affect a group of people in such a positive way. I will continue to
do what I can in the future and try to teach that same lesson to any kids I might have in the

future.

M: My parents have always instilled in me that giving towards others is the best gift I could give to myself

AMH2020 Student*
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn
            For my service project, I completed a box to send to troops serving in Afghanistan. Included in my box was various snacks, a crossword puzzle activity, a notebook and colored pens, and most importantly a handwritten note thanking the servicemen and women for their exceptional and inspiring bravery. When creating my box, it was important to me to send items that I knew would make the servicemen and women smile and make them happy because I know that the challenges they may face and sadness while being apart from their families and serving our country. As a first-year college student, I have struggled with being away from home from time to time throughout this semester and it always makes me smile when my family sends me a care package full of things I love. Therefore, I included the crossword puzzles and notebook to allow some fun and activity in addition to the stress that can occur on a daily basis. In the past when I have done any volunteer or charity work, I have made meals or baked as a donation and I really wanted to be able to include something “homemade” to include.

 Especially, being away in college, although it cannot compare to serving in the military, I know the feeling of wanting a home cooked meal. Putting snacks and candy in allowed me to contribute to that home feeling and honestly, who doesn’t love food! My favorite and the most important content of the box to me, was the handwritten note that I include to truly say thank you. I do not know enough servicemen and women to be able to express my sincere appreciation for all they have done to keep our country safe. Being able to include a note allowed me to communicate this to them.

            Throughout my entire life, beginning when I was little, my parents have always instilled in me that giving towards others is the best gift I could give to myself. I think this truly sparked my love for helping people and being able to make a difference in someone else’s life. I enjoy giving gifts whether it be physical or just donating my time to someone or something in need. This connects to my core values in the fact that giving back to the community and to those who make a difference in our world is not something that I should hesitate on it. These values of helping people and giving back is something that should always be a part of me and something that I should always do. As a communications major, talking and interacting with people whether it is physically or digitally, is an essential portion of what I want to do with the rest of my life. Although I did not get a chance to physically speak to the servicemen and women, getting to express my appreciation through the box was a symbol of what I wish I could say in person. I always think of my communications major as a “talking major.” It all has to do with talking and how we communicate and interact with others. I feel that it is important to know how to express yourself in ways other than actually speaking and as a communications major, this is what I am learning every day. Sending a box is not me physically being able to say thank you but it is a symbol of what I feel and I truly hope that it is perceived in a manner where they know that my service towards them is truly appreciated.
It is important to me that my box was reflective of my appreciation for what they do to keep me and our country safe. The simplicity in the bravery that they endure is more than enough and I truly could not imagine the triumphs they could face while putting their life on the line and keeping others safe. I think that this box project is a great way to be able to contribute and give back to those who are doing so much for us. Although it is not in a physical aspect, knowing is the thought that counts. It is a great way to be able to say you made a difference in someone’s day and it’s an amazing way to make a difference in your own life. We often take the small things like snacks and crossword puzzles for granted as something we can achieve with the snap of our fingertips. Those serving our country are not always as lucky and I believe it truly makes a difference in our own lives when we have the ability to help others and make an impact in someone else’s life. The community impact from these boxes would be greater than imagined as they are simple ways to give back and show that giving comes from within. I truly believe you have to want to give back and if you aren’t fully invested, you will not receive the satisfaction and good righteous feeling that comes along with it and its impact to you and others surrounding you. It is not often that we all get to make an impact from doing a simple project. By participating in the service box project, I gave myself a lifetime of opportunity to give back and influence the community around me to do the same in a small and what seems effortless way. Unfortunately, I will no longer be a student in this class, but the journey of the project does not end here for me. I most definitely plan on spreading the word about a simple way to make a big difference. I want to be able to continue my efforts through this project and expand it through by bringing people along with me to do the same.


 

C: Paying forward kindness to others comes with a feeling like no other.

AMH2020 student* 

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” This quote by, Saint Basil, describes how kindness, good deeds, and courtesy gathers love and brings friendship to one another. This Service Project is a perfect representation of the good deeds and kindness that students are capable of bringing forward. It gives the students in this course a chance to put a smile on someones else’s face. It gives us, the students, a chance to do something a little more. It gives us a chance to make a difference.
            For my service project, I chose to send a box to an American soldier in Afghanistan. This box consisted of a book on positive living and faith, snacks, candy, notebooks, and writing utensils. I chose this specific method because in my eyes, American soldiers are the biggest heroes that there are. They give their lives every day so that we can live freely. The book that I sent, The Art of Listening to Prayer, gives its readers an explanation of what it means to have a personal relationship with not only others, but with God. I believe that soldiers can benefit from reading this because it gives them a little something extra to fight for and motivation to keep pushing. It lets them know that there is someone watching over them even when they are thousands of miles away from home.
            This connects to my core value and major because it is my dream goal to fulfill others hopes and dreams. I specifically sent this book in can effort to help a soldier push a little further and to fulfill all soldiers dreams of getting home safely to his or her family. My major is, Construction Management, I chose this major specifically because the main goal of this profession is to build someones dreams. In Construction Management, one can find many hardships and bumps in the road. It is the job of Construction Managers to keep pushing and to find a way to come up with the finished project. The thing that I love the most about this profession is how you have something to show for all your hard work. It is a whole new feeling being able to see what hard work and dedication can really do. Construction Managers help make dreams into a reality.
            This Service Project is extremely beneficial to young students because it reminds us that there are some people in the world who rely on others for love, friendship, and motivation. Paying forward kindness to others comes with a feeling like no other. This Service Project is a great way for students to get involved in the community and make an impact on someones life.  Some may not know this but these little acts of kindness is just what these people need. These soldiers, veterans, and the homeless, rely on us to push them to keep moving. It gives them a further reason to keep their faith and to make the most of their lives.
            The community benefits from this project because it gives students a reason to go out in an effort to make a difference. Small acts of kindness such as sending a box to soldiers, serving  veterans at dinner events, and donating to the less fortunate, go an extremely long way. It can help turn those who are depressed and lonely into someone who sees the good things in life. This project can literally save someones life. The differences that things like this service project can make are limitless.
            When I was young, my mother created a project called, “Sports Center”. The idea of this project was to collect used/new sports equipment and deliver them to foundations such as, “Kids in Distress” and “Jack and Jill Childrens Center”. These are both programs that aim to help less fortunate children by providing them with education, food, shelter, and toys. My family would gather as much sports equipment as possible. My siblings and I would knock on doors for hours in an effort to collect something to donate to these children. We would even look through bulk trash around our neighborhood in search of something we could salvage. The greatest part about this project was being able to see the smiles on these kids faces when they saw what we had brought to them. These children, not much younger then myself, seemed to rely on us for happiness. The experience was life changing, it gave me a whole new look on what it means to pay forward kindness and to give back to the community.

            Ever since the first time I made the donation delivery with my mom, being able to help he community in any way possible is a priority of mine. That is why I believe this project can truly help make a difference in not only the community, but in the whole world. Something as small as a used baseball glove or a football, can change a persons life. Below are images of the box that i sent to Afghanistan. The box doesn't contain much, but I believe it is enough to make a positive impact on a soldiers life. The community relies on us for support and assistance.