Saturday, December 10th, Auburn, Alabama. Eleven strangers gather at the intramural fields, exhausted from finals and unsure of the journey that lies ahead of them. Will these people be awkward? Will we have fun? Is this all worth it? Soon to find out, and statistically speaking, this would be one of the greatest, most rewarding weeks of our young (or old) collegiate careers. Here are some of our highlights.
We started off the week with some bad news. Our friend Jack announced to the group that, “in case anyone didn’t know, Santa Claus isn’t real.” So that was a bummer, but life goes on.
On the brighter side, our first day of service was with the Nashville Rescue Mission at their campus for women. The greatest lesson we took away from that day was realizing that no matter what someone has been through in their past, it is never too late to make changes for the better. We worked with some incredible women that were a living example of this. They were instantly willing to share their stories with us, demonstrating trustworthiness and dedication. When we volunteered at the campus for men, they were also just as willing to accept us into their space and tell us about their journeys. Chris, one of our new friends from the kitchen, was in an interesting position because he and his wife were in the program AND they have three children. Chris goes above and beyond because instead of relaxing and watching TV in his free time, he spends every possible moment learning a new skill or trade so he can be the most prepared for after he graduates and goes back to the real world. He is taking full advantage of the opportunity that he has been given and it is something that we all admire him greatly for.
Later on back at the church, we all participated in a Too Nice Anonymous meeting. Apparently everyone in our group is “too nice”, who knew that was even a thing.
At Second Harvest Food Bank, our time was split between sorting, packaging, and the freezer. Limbs were damaged by frozen meats in the process. Over the span of two days, we provided over 20,000 pounds of food to feed over 100,000 people. That is something that we can hang our hats on for sure, but more than anything it opened our eyes to the immense need that exists in all of our communities across the entire country. Our work has only just begun, and we are all so grateful for this experience and the way it opened our eyes in different ways than before. As Harley would say, “this experience has just been such as great experience.”
Saturday, December 17th, Nashville, Tennessee. With one group member already home in New York, the remaining ten of us are leaving this wonderful city with sad faces because our time here has come to an end but also with fuller hearts. Although Macie didn’t eat a vegetable all week and four of our members may or may not have gotten food poisoning, we are all walking away as better, smarter, more humble students. If we left half the impact on the people we served this week as they left on us, then we did a pretty good job.
Also shoutout Hunter.
Your Walmart-loving, ice cream-eating, Mafia-playing ASBachelors and ASBachelorettes