Tuesday, September 10

life-changing





Today's challenge: describe a distinct moment when your life took a change.

Back in 2009, I went to Waveland, Missisippi to help with Hurrican Katrina relief. I can't quite remember why I signed up because I didn't know anyone that I was going with. Before our trip we had to do months of fundraising activities which is where I met one of my best friends (who happens to be coming to visit me next month). We finally headed down to Waveland in March and the trip was a mixture of fun, exhaustion, sadness, appreciation, and adventure.

We were staying in these military type tents with two rows of bunk-beds and a separate outhouse type tent with the bathrooms and showers. Our group was a mix of 18 guys and girls from a fairly well-off private college and needless to say we were not prepared for the week. Our jobs entailed a lot of cleaning up. Cleaning up of garbage and debris that were still piled up in Waveland 4 years after Katrina. Cleaning up dressers and tires, childrens' toys and baby high chairs, entire boats out of peoples' backyards. It was challenging stuff. One night, just to get out of the tent for a little while, we loaded up our two big vans and headed to Walmart. When we went to the cashier to pay for our knick-knacks, the woman asked us if we were volunteers (because we clearly looked/sounded like we did not belong). After we enthusiastically answered yes, she just started crying. She was crying and saying thank you so much. That was impacting.

I took a lot of things from that week. But I think the thing that changed my life the most was a new understanding of myself. I knew from that moment on that I wanted to help other people. That I was meant to help other people. I didn't necessarily know that I wanted to become a teacher but it certainly helped to guide me where I am today.

When did you realize your life took a change??


4 comments:

Jenn @ What You Make It said...

I saw these pictures and thought - this looks like Katrina relief! I went down to Louisiana twice after Katrina. I was totally terrified to go in and gut houses the first time I went, but it turned out to be such an amazing experience. Definitely a life-changer. Thanks for sharing!

Jenn @ What You Make It said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan C. Stroup said...

What a great experience! Thank you for sharing how such a philanthropic event changed you. :) That's awesome that you chose to volunteer when you could have been drinking on the beach in Florida or something instead. That's awesome!

Bri Towne said...

wow how neat! definitely a great turning point!