Updated: Jun 4, 2020
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John F. Kennedy
Over the duration of these past two weeks, VT Seva’s Detroit Youth Program has been showing their gratitude towards essential workers: waste disposal crew and mailmen/women. Children ranging from elementary to high school came up with different ways to appreciate the people who are still out there working during these unprecedented times. VT Seva is a non-profit organization which runs on its youth board. Many youth volunteers made hand-made cards and/or gave gift cards to let these people know that they are noticed and appreciated by their community. For us kids, it was incredible to be able to make someone’s day through a small gesture.
This project also helped to inspire each other to impact the people around us positively, and take a moment to appreciate the ones who serve us, especially during this pandemic. It is important to express gratitude towards the ones around us and to lend a helping hand towards them. Whether it be through making a card, or by baking large portions of food to give to the people working all hours at the hospital, make sure you also spread kindness and positivity.
Some of the youth volunteers’ shared their reflections on this project, and their experiences. Saisha talks about her experience; “Each time we delivered something, it was nice to see the smiles behind the masks. Every bit I do makes me feel really good and I want to continue doing similar things like this in the future". Nikita talks about how it’s better to do something, than nothing. Cheering up front liners, making people happy by appreciating them is just as important social distancing and keeping ourselves safe. Risha talks about how it’s astonishing that a group of youth volunteers can make someone else’s day through simple gestures, and be able to show these people that they are recognized by their community. Ish and Adi also made homemade cards and felt happy to see the trash disposal workers happy. Sadana and Srihari discuss how it was amazing to make such a small gesture, nothing compared to the hard and risk-filled work they do, and make someone very happy with it. Teja and Arya, who are youth volunteers, describe how happy they felt to see how they made someone else happy, and hopes to put more smiles on peoples faces during this pandemic. Oviya and Harish also participated talking about how they thoroughly enjoyed being a part of such an inspiring community and how satisfying it is to make someone smile. Ria and Vaibhav feel very thankful to be able to make an impact on their community. Sanjana and Kaavya talk about how happy they were to make someone smile. Aishani and Amitesh felt very happy supporting the community. Anjana, Shriya and Nikhil said their mail carriers felt so happy and appreciated the gesture. Smriti and Sohan feel happy to be part of an inspiring effort like this one. Rashmita and Abhinav also mentioned how they took all of the necessary precautions and were still able to inspire people in their community. All of the volunteers feel thankful that they got to make someone feel important and to be able to encourage others to spread gratitude too. Overall, all of the volunteers agree that it was a new and fun experience, and it felt wonderful to make someone happy, and make them feel better about themselves. It shows how a simple gesture can have such a great impact, and how it is important to appreciate those who work hard for you everyday, but are rarely ever acknowledged for it. Some may say that during a crisis like this giving 20 bucks to someone will not make any difference, but in the VT Seva Detroit Youth group alone, around 25 kids have participated so far and impacted more than 50 families. And it only takes one person to make a difference. Everyone can make someone’s day, make them feel important, and make them feel noticed by making a small effort during the day just like these volunteers. Not only is staying safe and taking precautions important, but spreading positivity is just as important to help everyone recover from this disaster together.
VT Seva is a non-profit volunteer organization which runs mainly through its youth board, and raises money mainly for the education of blind and tribal children. But it also raises money for other causes such as cancer awareness camps and disasters such as the one going on right now.
Writers : Nikita Talwar and Risha Narayanan
Video : Srujan Patil