The first time I volunteered with Smacks was at a local American Legion, Post 490 to be exact. Our task was to feed a group of veterans and homeless people. The task itself was simple enough; cook the food and serve it. I would’ve never thought that this event would have such a profound impact on how I view things and live throughout my daily life.
As the day began, we all raised enough money to buy the materials we needed to feed up to 300 people. This was the easy part, the hard part was splitting into teams and deciding what we were all going to cook. We all came to an agreement that barbecue was the best option because the Legion was kind enough to let us use their big smoker in the back. Since we were already split into teams the jobs were spread out; a group would season the meat, one would cook it on the grill and in the smoker, and the other team would handle the sides. We were all so pumped and having a blast working together in the kitchen. Music was playing, us joking around, and the next thing you know all the food was finished. As we started bringing everything out, we finally announced that the food was ready to be served. It felt good to see all of these smiling faces of all ages come and grab a bite to eat. One lady said to me, “Thank you so much, you guys have some of the biggest hearts. You kids are what keep my kids and I moving forward.” Something about what she had said made me tear up, because me knowing that I can impact on somebody’s life like that was life changing. I can tell you this, I would rather change someone’s life than receive any amount of money.
Witnessing all of the children and adults glee over what we did was amazing. The group leader called for a toast.”To our new members, this feeling you have inside is something that will stick with you for a lifetime. A little act of kindness will go a long way for the giver and receiver.” After everyone was served, there was still lots of food remaining. We got to sit down and enjoy what we had cooked, and the food was amazing. Especially since we cooked it ourselves. While eating, I got to converse with some of the families and discuss everything about their lives. These people have all been through some rough times and every single one of them said that this small act of kindness meant so much to them. These few hours of helping those in need was one of the greatest moments in my life. This sensational feeling I had running in my system showed how a little act of kindness can mean the world to others.
My experience that night showed me what an ordinary classroom cant. A class cant show or teach you happiness. This gave me memories and lessons that I can teach others. Not only was this very rewarding, but it also gave me the opportunity to try new things and give me some strong characteristics in my life. My first event with smacks made me a better person and I hope to influence others so they can enjoy what I did as well.