Monday, December 19, 2016

Discovering "Why I'm In It"

The chalkboard that inspired volunteers in the Crothersville Agriculture Classroom

“Good morning! Today we will be delivering 8.13 TONS of food to 96 families in the Crothersville community, along with 150 cheer baskets. I hope we have a wonderful day! – Deven Lemen”

As my teammates and I walk into the warm, Crothersville agriculture classroom, we read this mindblowing statement written on the chalkboard. It’s a cold, icy, Saturday morning, but the energy and passion in Crothersville High School made it feel like the warmest place on the planet. We had been requested to go to a service project, and all we knew about the event is that we were delivering food and that there MAY be the opportunity to ride on a firetruck.

A photo with our team and Crothersville FFA Officer Team!
A few of the amazing chapter officers explain that this is the 28th annual FFA Food and Toy Drive and that we would be delivering boxes of nonperishable foods, hams, eggs, milk, and fruit to families in need in the Crothersville community.

As the day goes on, we make a few deliveries, and return back to school to warm up with some hot chocolate. I had no idea that the next delivery we would make will change my outlook on life forever.

We pull into the driveway of a house and we begin to load the boxes of food and toys into the back of a car, as directed by the woman on the porch and the man helping us load. The delivery seemed so normal, until I go to deliver the letter to the woman on the porch. I reach out to shake her hand and as I look into her face, I see tears welling up in her eyes. Immediately I join her on the porch and give her a hug. In this moment there was no one else in the world, just this woman and I. She sobs and thanks me, saying I’m a blessing, but as I pull away from the hug with tears welling in my eyes, I realize that she is the true blessing.

She is practically a stranger to me, but little does she know she has inspired me to serve selflessly each and every day of my life. As I walk away crying, the firefighter looks at me and says “this is why we’re in it.”

I later found out that this family had recently experienced a loss only a week before, and I honestly could not believe that I had the honor to play such a small part in making this family’s Christmas just a little brighter.

This feeling of realizing “why you’re in it” has made me realize that this year of service to Indiana FFA is nothing compared to what I can give in my entire life, the desire and passion to serve that I have left in me. Thank you Crothersville FFA chapter for giving me the opportunity to serve, and to impact someone’s life in such a small way.

Inspired to serve,

Jessica Mars
2016-2017 Indiana FFA State President

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