BUILDING CHARACTER IN OUR YOUTH THROUGH COMMUNITY SERVICE

 If you’ve been following my blog, you know I speak a lot about Project Spare Bottle, a movement started by my sister where we provide cold water and ice to the homeless every Sunday. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being accompanied by a very special guest. Let’s just call him “Mista Jr.” Some of you may remember me speak of Mista Jr. as well as his father (Mista) in my old YouTube/Twitter “Hey Days.” I was especially excited this young lad was joining me mainly because he mentioned he had never volunteered in this capacity before.

Although I gave him a “pep talk” on what he would see, when we reached our first location, he was initially afraid because the people know the “PSB mobiles” and immediately started coming in our direction as we parked out vehicles. I believe Mista Jr. thought they were going to “rush the truck,” but instead they formed a line as we began passing out water. Mista Jr. stayed in the front seat still reluctant to get out, but paying close attention. Once we were able to service the first wave of people, he then got out, became acclimated to the environment and eagerly took to his task. When we reached “Tent City” our second spot, the Soup Mobile as well as a local church group was there already. It was like a mini-block party. They gave away sack lunches, water and clothing and shoes as we passed out our ice cold water and passed out cups of ice and filled up cooler after cooler with ice for those that needed it. Mista Jr. was comfortable now. Those frazzled nerves of his turned into sheer confidence. By the way, I found the lady I made a promise to last week that I would be back with a cooler full of ice for her. She didn’t think I was coming back. The joke was on her because she was too tickled as I dumped an entire cooler of ice into hers.

As Mista Jr. and I rode back home I asked him how did he feel. His response, “I feel happy.” I asked him why. He said, “It felt good to help those people today because they didn’t have a lot.” I could tell he was proud of himself. Proud because the little amount of time he gave yesterday meant so much to those HE SERVED. He served them, yet he was respected. Some called him “Lil Man,” but most called him “Sir.” One man even prayed over his life for his kind acts. These are the things that will help to build his character and I truly believe his experience yesterday will change the way he views the world and others around him. I know that he will have an even greater appreciation of what he has and he will continue to serve for many years to come. He’s made it known he can’t wait to participate again, this time however, not hesitating at the first stop, but getting out and hitting the ground running. That’s character building through community service.

I am truly PROUD of that boy.

Stop by AND LIKE the Project Spare Bottle Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ProjectSpareBottle or visit the PSB website at http://www.projectsparebottle.org.

Spread the word and SPARE A BOTTLE!!!

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