Helping Those in Need

Jacob - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on April 15, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am very fortunate and have been blessed with a good life. I am going to a great school, I am living in one of the most beautiful places in California, and I have great friends and a great family. I really have nothing to stress about. School is tough at times but everyone I know is going through that. I would love to think that everyone lives a good and easy life, but I would be lying to myself. There are millions of people in the world today who have no help or support from anyone, and many of those people are homeless.

During my senior year of high school, I was trying to finish up my Eagle Scout rank and had to complete a service project. Most of the other scouts worked on small construction projects at the county park, but who does that really help? Sure the parks department for our town would have one less project to do, but was it really a good service to the community? There are so many people who need our support and I felt that I could be of use. On my own I decided to make survival packs for the homeless shelter in my town. I did fundraising at my church and work so that I would have enough money to buy all the supplies. The survival packs were backpacks consisting of mainly hygienic and first aid products. Finally, after three months I had finished the project and had raised a couple thousand dollars extra. With this I was able to make a fund for the shelter to buy the homeless sleeping bags, tents, and stoves as needed. I then personally delivered the 50 backpacks to the shelter. When I met with all of the homeless people and handed each one of them a pack, the reaction I got in return made the entire project worth it. They were all so thankful – the smiles on their faces showed me that my work was really appreciated.

Before that time I found it hard to think of the homeless as individuals who were really in need. In today’s society, it’s as if they are all placed in a group tagged as the outcasts. Meeting all of them personally put this situation on a whole different level for me. Seeing them with nothing but the clothes on their back, and the faces that have suffered too many years living on the street showed me I needed to do more. My project was very helpful but it wasn’t enough to just stop with that. There are too many people that need help and support in the world today to go about our daily lives with ourselves as number one.

This project was very important to me because it helped me reach my Eagle Scout rank, but I ended up getting a lot more out of it than a little badge. I realized that the work I did was very beneficial to the homeless I was working with. I put a lot of effort into this project, but the outcome was so much more. We go about our daily lives with full apartments, a warm place to sleep and food to eat. I can’t imagine how hard it is for people to live without all of it. But there are so many people that deal with it everyday. In today’s poor economy, homeless isn’t a problem that will go away but will continue to get worse. I believe the homelessness can’t be just looked over as another problem in our society but as people who really need help from their community. That’s why I believe in community service for people in need.