BLUEBERRY AMBASSADOR MOMENTS
Grand Blanc West Middle School, coordinator Mary-Kennedy Jacob
Blueberry Moment 13522
So, the task was to go out in the community and do a random act of kindness. When I was given this prompt, I truthfully didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew there were the obvious nice things to do like shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, or picking up trash around the neighborhood. Obviously, any act of kindness can be very helpful and even the littlest of acts can make a big impact, but I still wanted to do something outside of the ordinary. I spent weeks trying to figure out this magnificent act of kindness that would be jaw-dropping, but nothing came to me. One day, I was pondering to myself and began thinking about what the Blueberry Ambassador Program was really about. The idea of the Blueberry Ambassador Program is not to go out and do this crazy thing for someone, the idea is to help the little causes in our small communities and the huge effect our small acts can have on people. As I began, to change my mindset on the Blueberry Ambassador Program, I looked for small things that I do frequently in my day to day routine. To my utter disbelief, I found an act that I had been doing twice a week, every week since September. Every Monday and Wednesday, I and several other students come into one of our teacher’s classrooms to help other classmates in need. We try to tutor classmates who need the extra help or just give them some moral support. I was contemplating whether this act was flashy enough for myself but I realized it was in other ways than expected. I had realized that through this “learning lunch” sessions I was able to help kids do better in their education and in result have more time for enjoyment and having better lives. I must say that the feeling of knowing you made an impact on someone’s life truly feels special. I think we all, students and adults, can learn from the Blueberry Ambassador Program. In times like these when all we see on the news and throughout our social media pages, are negativity and hatred towards each other, I think we should stop and remember about the blueberries.
Blueberry Moment 13530
“Everybody can be great. Because anyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree…You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Said Martin Luther King Jr. In every religion, it mentions something about giving to people in need. It applies to all people of all different backgrounds. I viewed volunteering as something that I simply had to do, not out of pure joy but, more as something that must be done. Many kids, including myself feel this way. But, something changed my whole point of view on the matter itself, and I will never look at volunteering the same way again. Over 300 people and I made 80,000 meals in just over 2 hours. Originally, it was not my idea to volunteer. My teacher, Mrs. KJ had mentioned something about getting extra credit if we volunteered on Martin Luther King Day. When my mom heard about the extra credit that my twin brother and I could earn, she decided to sign us up. She thought that it would be a great family bonding experience. The day arrived and we got up at 7:30. My mom wanted us to be there by 8:30 for check in. After we got assigned to a certain assembly line we had to wait. The seats that we had to wait in were filled with volunteers, all of these people came to help the less fortunate, I was dumbfounded. Once everyone got to the tables they needed to be at, the leaders of the group started assigning jobs. I got put with packing and stacking boxes on wooden pallets. It was a hard job, but I found myself having fun with it. When I looked around everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and in turn, I found myself enjoying it as well. I did not know many of the people there, but it felt as if we were one big family, all helping one another to achieve a common goal. The food that I was boxing up could provide enough food to feed 6 person family for one day. There were 30 bags per box. Each box that I stacked had the potential to provide for 180 people. Just to think about that is crazy. To know that I helped so many people is the best feeling in the world. At that moment in time I was not thinking about what we would be having for lunch, or how much extra credit I would get for this, but instead I was thinking about how much I was helping the community. Afterwards, we would take some of the boxes that I had packaged and would bring them back to Grand Blanc West Middle School, where we could help the F.I.S.H families in our area. So not only was I making a difference in Genesee county, but I was making a big impact on people in Grand Blanc. When it was time for my family and I to leave, I found myself not wanting to go. I had so much fun during this experience and I never wanted it to end. I became more grateful for what I have. Every day I always know that there will be a meal on our table, but there are other families that don’t know when they will have their next meal. So, if I can help out even just one family, then I will have accomplished what I have set out to do. I love volunteering now, it is something that I look forward to being involved in. Every kid should know what it’s like to give back to the community. All you have to do is show up, and you will find yourself falling in love with it. My family and I are going to try to do it again next year. My goal for the next up in coming year is to have less people hungry and more people volunteering, and with everyone working together I know we can do it, one meal at a time.
Blueberry Moment 13523
“Are you ready to get started?” Jenny, the announcer, asked us. “Yes!” everyone in the stands shouted back energetically. It was Martin Luther King Junior Day, so there were a lot of people volunteering. It was about 9:00, so Jenny started to call our table numbers to come down to the turf and put on our aprons and hairnets. After we had filed down the stairs, we put on the hygiene clothing and washed our hands with hand sanitizer. I then walked over to my table with my mom and brother and we introduced ourselves. I looked down at the table and there were so many bins of food, it was like a grocery store! When everyone in our group got to the table, our team leader, Dylan started to explain the process of making the meal. A moment later, Jenny spoke over the microphone explaining that there needed to be a ‘runner’ from each group. We had a couple of high schoolers from Bentley, and they volunteered. The runners had a couple of different types of jobs; some of them would refill the food, some would collect the full boxes and replace them with empty boxes, and others would take the boxes to the trucks to be loaded up. After Dylan finished explaining the process of making the meal, we made a system, like an assembly line. First, my brother, Henry, would put a packet containing vitamins and minerals inside a bag. Then, someone would put a scoop of vegetables, then my mom would put a scoop of beans, then someone else would put a scoop of rice, and then it would go to a scale to get weighed. That was my job, and how it worked was that you had to weigh the bag and add or take out rice to get the weight between 388 and 390 grams. Next, the bag would get the air squeezed out of it and get sealed by a heat machine. I also did that part too. Once, on accident, I brushed my finger against the metal of the heating part and it hurt a lot. After it was sealed, it would go to a person who would put on a label, and then put it in a box. Once a box had 36 bags in it, our whole table would call “Box!” and a runner would come grab the box and replace it with an empty one. There were 25 tables, so there was a lot of work getting done towards our goal of making 80,000 meals. There were two types of meals: oatmeal and rice and beans. Around 11:00, Jenny announced that we were halfway to our goal. Immediately, everyone started working faster. With every bag that I weighed and sealed, it seemed like time was speeding up. All of a sudden, we started to run out of vegetables. We had to use more rice and fewer vegetables. All of the runners started to come around with big bags of vegetables. After they refilled everyone’s containers, progress resumed. Around 11:50, we started to get low on beans. A couple of other tables had to stop because they didn’t have any beans. We kept going, and at 11:55, we had reached our goal! I was so glad that we had made it because it saddens me to think of world hunger. I was also glad that the meals would be going to Genesee County. It felt really good to help people in need and volunteer. There was a lunch provided there, but my family left early to go eat at home. I am very thankful that I can have food on my table at every meal. I learned that I should really appreciate my blessings and be grateful for what I have.
Blueberry Moment 13519
My family and I were shopping at the Genesee Valley Mall on Saturday last month. As I was walking I found a wallet and a key the floor in JCPenney. I told my dad I found a wallet and he opened the wallet to check the name, and recognized that the wallet had money and credit cards. We figured someone would be quite worried when they realized they lost it. Next, we walked around asking people in the area if they had lost anything. All the people we spoke to said, “No.” However, shortly after I saw a guy walking around and his faced looked scared. So, I asked him, “What is your name?” He responded with the name that was in the wallet. Then I asked if he lost something. He said his wallet was missing and his car keys. I told him I found them. He was so relieved and thanked me and my family for our honesty. I then gave him the Blueberry Card. This experience made me feel good that I could help someone in their time of need. I find things frequently, and have been able to help others with this talent. It feels good.
Blueberry Moment 13518
On a cold day during winter break was when I completed my good deed. As I was pushing my shopping cart back to the station in the freezing temperature I saw an older lady struggling to put her groceries into her car. I politely walked over to her and asked if she needed help. She looked at me with a surprised look on her face. She nodded as I put her groceries into her car and pushed her cart away. After I finished the deed I felt extremely good, but I could not help but keep thinking about the surprised face she displayed it made me think about how we do not do enough good deeds for are the community and fellow humans. I don’t think anybody should be surprised by a good deed because this kind of things should happen to everybody regularly. This opportunity to be able to do a good deed has opened my eyes and showed me that everybody should try and do a random act of kindness every day if possible. Overall, I learned we should always strive to be the best human we can be and help people out whenever it is possible.
Charissa Hope Gibson
Blueberry Moment 13521
A quote from the book, ‘Wonder’ states that “If you could choose anything, choose kind”. On the weekend of December 7, I got to participate in 2017 Impact Appalachia mountain trip. It is a two-day trip from drive to partying for about 48 hours. I got exposed to this trip by my uncle who is a pastor and this is a trip they have done for 4 years. The highlight of the trip is the party at the end of the trip. We go separately in four groups to different groups to four different areas. I went to West Virginia and it is the “best place to go” in my uncle’s opinion. The van ride was the best part. We donated things like coats, hats, gloves, clothing, bathing stuff, food, treats, and so much more. The party was so cool. I was the Flash and there was Olaf, Wonder Woman, and a Ninja Turtle. The kids were so happy and parents cried when the kids open their gifts. There was music and facing painting (which I did). Every kid got a bike and that was so cool. The best part was seeing the looks on the kids’ faces when they opened their gifts. It made me cry. So, if you could do choose anything to be, choose kind.