Serving others during a time of serving

Junior uses holiday breaks to help those in need


Snell serves food at the local Salvation Army for those in need over the holidays

Story by Tyler Snell, co-news editor

The food cooks in the oven, the table is set, family and friends arrive with appetizers and desserts. The television has America’s Game of the Day on along with Macy’s Day Parade in another room. This is the typical American Thanksgiving, but the fact is that there are members of the community that do not experience this.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are when many decide to step up to the table and serve members of the community who are less fortunate. Some ring a bell in front of a grocery store, some donate supplies to worthy organizations and others, like myself, choose to spend our time with the less able.

For the past two years, I have served Thanksgiving dinner at Salvation Army and the Church Under the Bridge. My family and I show our support for the community while still spending time together but doing so by influencing the lives of others.

I’ll admit that a major reason to participate was the opportunity to earn community service hours. I, unfortunately, had the attitude that I would do my time and then go about with my merry ways. But after serving those who have less, I realized that I should be thankful by helping those in need.

During the holiday season we often get caught up with our family and friends and we forget about people in need. What makes this experience so enjoyable is that I am still with my family while helping members of the community.

Last year, I couldn’t wait for the holiday breaks because I got to spend some time thinking about others instead of all about wanting the newest smartphone or Under Armour hoodie. Thanksgiving of 2013 was different than the year before because I served a Thanksgiving breakfast.

My family and I woke up early while others were still dreaming about turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Underneath the Stateline Bridge, near Seventh Street, the homeless gather every Saturday to hold a church service. But this day was different because members in the community decided to do a “Thanksgiving Breakfast” for the homeless.

I remember handing out fried apple pies and every single person said, “Thank you.” But it’s me who should be thanking them because the experience pushed me to get involved with service projects. I have become an appreciative person that thanks God for my blessings and prays to for those in need.

That is what pushed me to serve Thanksgiving to the homeless at Randy Sam’s. This was by far my favorite time because many of the faces were familiar, and we served over 150 people.

I learned a valuable lesson from my time serving others during the holiday breaks: always get involved because we can never stop helping those in need. And I learned that this experience can teach you that we should always be appreciative. This is why I encourage people to participate in projects with members of our town during their time of need.