It is finally my favorite time of the year! I am a grown 28 year old woman who turns into a complete child the minute November 1st rolls around. I can’t help myself but feel overjoyed when I see others commit acts of kindness and giving. It reminds me that even when society seems to be at ends, we can come together and share a meal, a laugh, and fellowship. Growing up, my parents wanted my brother and I to know that it is more important to give than to receive. Every year, my brother and I got to choose how we wanted to give back. The first year we donated all of our coats, hats, and gloves to those who needed them. The next couple of years were spent adopting a family, gifting them Thanksgiving dinner, and taking them out to choose a few Christmas gifts for their children. Then, we volunteered at a soup kitchen and served Thanksgiving meals to those who were less fortunate.
It is now my turn to pass down that same valuable lesson to my children. That is just one of the reasons why I am so grateful to have Heart On A Mission in our lives. I have been able to teach my children at such a young age that a little bit of kindness goes a long way. At Fort Riley, we have been blessed with opportunities to volunteer within our community and the communities surrounding our post. The two opportunities that stick out in my mind the most are our consistent service project serving lunch to an elderly community once a month, as well as tidying up a new coffee shop with a mission to help the youth in our community succeed. Of the two opportunities, my favorite and most treasured one would be serving lunch.
The most recent item on the menu for the seniors of Ogden, Kansas included – liver and onions. No, it was not the most pleasant smell in the world, and yes, the smell attached itself to my clothing and followed me home. But it was worth every ounce of detergent it took to erase the stench, because, Vern, the man in charge of making lunch for a handful of hungry citizens on a regular basis by himself, once said to me that even though we only volunteer once a month, a little bit goes a long way. Plus, he enjoys sitting back and letting us take the lead, while he entertains the babies that remind him of his grandchildren when they were younger.
Even though my children are only one and two years old, and let’s be honest are more work than volunteering – I know that they watch every move I make, every word I speak, and every decision I make. Your actions, whether they be big or small, have an impact on those around you, especially the little ones. By them watching me volunteer, it’s enough to ignite the spark.
After all, you’ll never know the impact you make on another’s life through just offering a kind hand to someone who needs it.