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Friday, August 26, 2011

Making Lunch for Our Veterans

Sean chopping apples
After last night's fun community service opportunity, we came home to a message that our club was scheduled to serve lunch to the veterans at our regional VA Clinic.  These kinds of community service opportunities mean a lot to our family.  We almost never refuse to help our veterans because we are a military family.  We have had first hand experience with the effects of a military life, especially deployments.

We had a great group of 4H'ers come together to make a healthy chicken salad sandwich for the veterans.  This group has often come together to make lunch for the veterans.  We decided to add chopped apples and celery to the mix today.   

It was fun to watch the 4H'ers work together to make the lunch service a success.  We had some of them chopping food while others mixed the ingredients together (Briana shown) and making the sandwiches (Henry shown).  We shared some great laughs too.  That is one thing I like about 4H...we are all making lasting friendships as we learn skills and help the community.  They will probably use these life skills even more than the educational information from the projects.  These guys and gals will hopefully look back at these years and remember the good times. 

And, when we are not focused we have our youngest little helper (Brendan) to get us back on track!  He really thinks he is the head man in the kitchen!  But the best part is he is learning from watching the others.  That is just another example of how great 4H is.  There is a respect for families being together.  My children all know they can work together to help in an activity.  This is true for children who are old enough to be Clover Kids, but we also have ones like our little guy who we call the 'tag-along' 4Her.  Brendan is such a trouper.  He has been with us from the beginning...poor little guy never had a chance...he was born into 4H!

So after all our prep we were ready!  We were also asked to serve donuts, coffee and juice.  So we got all of our sandwiches made and got to work serving the veterans. 
Sean heading up the serving line

Henry with one of our veterans
One of the reasons this is such a great community service experience is being able to talk to the veterans.  They love to see the kids there and are so appreciative.  Many of the veterans stay and talk to us even after they eat their food.  We have heard so many great stories!  It is like having a living history lesson, and we never know what piece of the story we are going to hear. 

We were able to stay at the clinic for over 3 hours.  We served about 70 veterans.  And we had the added bonus of taking 3 dozen leftover donuts to the local homeless shelter!

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