thanksgiving painting

January 20, 2010
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"Get up Anthony or you’ll be late!” said my father at 5:30 in the morning. He did so because in approximately a half hour I had to be dressed and ready for the service project I signed up for. Not knowing what to expect, I brought work-boots and gloves in case yard work was needed. When I arrived at the church it was still a dark and cold Saturday morning with not so much as a streak of sunlight running through the dark starry sky.
I waited for more people to arrive at the church before we finally were able to head out for a different location where we would meet hundreds of more teen volunteers eagerly awaiting to make someone’s Thanksgiving a little bit better. I was surprised to see people from all over the valley coming together for one cause.
When I arrived at the house, it had a strange, gloomy, almost sad look to it. Once I made my way to the backyard there was clutter everywhere. There were chairs stacked on top of tables that were stacked on top of other various items that were, as-a-matter-of-fact, unknown to me for I could not see underneath them. There was hardly any light in the backyard, because of the huge trees blocking the sun’s rays from entering into the crowded area. On top of all that, there was a horrible stench of decaying, wet woo, and I soon cam to realize that the cause of this rancid odor was—the roof. Below the rotting wood was a puddle of water built up from the constant dripping from the roof onto the cold concrete. Once I got a firm understanding of my surroundings, I took a paint brush and began slopping gooey, white paint onto the brick walls of the forlorn home.
The home belonged to an old 60-year-old couple who were so poor that they could not even afford a Thanksgiving turkey, when I knew my Thanksgiving would be filled with an abundance of foods and family to my liking. After the house was painted, two or three more volunteers and I were chose to present the Thanksgiving turkey to the couple. When I knocked on the old screen door, a portly man wearing and old flannel coat, ripped, blue jeans, bifocals, and an old white hat that read “Budweiser”, answered the door and gave a grin, showing his gold-capped teeth, which made me smile as well.
Not completely knowing what to say, I held out the frozen 12-pound bird and exclaimed, “Happy Thanksgiving, sir!”
He replied, “Oh thank ya’ll so much. Let me go get ma wife. She has been wantin’ to thank ya’ll all morning!”
He went inside to get his wife and when he came back out he was followed by a short, hefty woman who looked as if she had lived a long, hard life.
“Thank you people so much. I just want to say that you have made our Thanksgiving meaningful and gave us something to be thankful for. God bless ya’ll for doin’ such a tremendous deed for us, we couldn’t be more appreciative.” ,said the woman.
Her short speech was followed by one of the teen leaders who said, “Ma’am, we are all just happy to help.”
Although his commentary was short, it was all too true. For one of the first times in my life I was actually happy to help someone else less fortunate than i. I actually enjoyed knowing that my work that was put into this house was bettering and making someone else’s life that, much easier. It warmed my heart in seeing the true meaning of community service by giving back to the community in making a difference in someone else’s life by doing something so simple as painting the exterior of someone else’s home or even giving the a turkey. I positively adored this feeling and want to seek more ways to give back to the community.





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