Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two people, Two Causes, One Meaning

As a child I recall my father saying “What the left hand does the right hand knows nothing about.” And while a young mind may not quite understand sooner or later it all makes sense. The same holds true with giving, volunteering and donating. It's something we do not for recognition, but because it simply is the right thing to do. For me volunteering always makes me feel complete and wholesome. However, what made last Friday so special was that it was the first time that Alex and I were both volunteering on the same day, at the same exact time but separately from one another. While we were at two different locations, working for two different causes, they were equally successful and meaningful.

Alex as part of Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks was volunteering at VNS Choice Adult Day Center in Queens where they were hosting a "carnival" for participants. I on the other hand, was in the Bronx for my first City Harvest Bodega Initiative. Alex helped make lunch for the ladies and gents, then filled the hours playing games, chatting, and even confessed to dancing with several women. Alex (and the other teammembers) helped bring smiles to their faces and made them feel youthful again. I assisted a friend and fellow chef in preparing fresh, mayo-free tuna sandwiches on wheat bread and prepared a "healthy soda" of seltzer water and 100% fruit juice garnished with limes and apples. Residents of the Bronx were encouraged to stop by our booth located in front of La Familia bodega in Tremont and help themselves to a sample of food and recipes. The hope being that they would see how simple, tasty, affordable, and accessible eating well can be. It turned out this healthy initiative was broadcasted on Channel 12 in the Bronx and on a Channel 4 6 o’clock news segment entitled Be Active Be Healthy. Regardless to it being filmed it proved to be a successful event: it got people eating healthier options and provided them with a meal that they could easily recreate. Alex's experience was not recorded on film, but they are several photos. In them you can see that Alex (and the others) help make it a special day for and hopefully provided all participants with a long-lasting memory.

We all feel that we hardly have time in our days, heck we are trained to be at a constant race against the clock, but there is always time to do a small act of good for someone, whether it's a day of giving back, an hour well spent, or a smile, it all goes a long way.

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