I signed up for a service based class because I thought it would be simple, but after four months I feel honored for having been a part of it all. I’ve volunteered before, but have never tackled a project such as this. I chose to work with the Salvation Army and initially had plans to help the flood victims. Throughout the semester, we hit a few bumps but overcame them and succeeded. In my experiences with the Salvation Army I dared to dream, dared to succeed, and dared to make a difference.
Daring to dream was an exciting aspect of this project. We thought of the many ways we could make a difference. Originally, we had planned on putting on a fall carnival for the children staying at the shelter. We had a vision of a bunch of kids running around playing games and winning prizes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time or resources to make something that large happen. We also found out that the number of children staying at the shelter wasn’t as many as we had envisioned.
We then opted for raising money to buy the children board games by having a soup and bake sale, while also putting on a board game drive. By donating board games and movies, we dreamed that we would make their lives a little more enjoyable while staying at the Salvation Army shelter. We inquired both challenging and rewarding experiences while daring to succeed in trying to make a difference with the Salvation Army. My group faced several challenges in the course of this project.
The first problem was that half of our group dropped the class, leaving Sadie and myself to tackle the project. Time became a challenge because I work full-time, thus we had to cut some things from our original plan. Sadie and I didn’t have the money or the connections to fund our bake and soup sale after the other students left. Also, finding a place to have the bake and soup sale became a huge issue as time ran out, therefore we decided to ring bells instead. Even though Sadie and I encountered some setbacks, the rewards far outweigh the challenges.
The rewarding experiences are what this project is all about to me. Standing in the cold for two hours doesn’t sound like much fun, but for those two hours Sadie and I got to know each other a little better, as well as meet a few characters on the street. I also learned that there are still some good people left in the world; one gentleman went across the street to get us each a cup of hot chocolate. Another rewarding experience was when Sadie and I found out that someone had put board games into the bins instead of garbage; we were thrilled.
We were so excited that we were actually going to have something to give the Salvation Army from our original idea. That led to the rewarding feeling of actually giving the board games and puzzles to the Salvation Army. The rewarding experiences that I’ve had during this semester will turn into cherished memories. While I dared to make a difference on the Salvation Army, it also made a difference on me. After researching and working with the Salvation Army, I realized just how many millions of people they help across the world.
I got the chance to tour our local soup kitchen and see the people that the Salvation Army helps. I learned there are many ways that a person can volunteer their time to the Salvation Army. It is not just limited to ringing bells or serving food, but visiting with elderly and handing out blankets. The Salvation Army is there to help people in a time of crisis and also to help people better their lives. The Salvation Army has taught me that every little bit counts when it comes to volunteering. I’ve also had the great reward of making a difference on the Salvation Army.
Through this project I got the chance to put on a board game drive as well as donate two cold hours of ringing a bell to raise some money. Sometimes I don’t think I’ve made much of an impact until I start thinking about all the different ways the money or board games will be used. The couple dollars we raised might feed a mother and her children, or it might provide blankets to families that were victims of the flood. The money could also be used to put a roof over a veteran’s head, or help pay for the heating bills for one family. The money we