MIM Fall 2019 Service Project: Alexis Rivera

            As Mahatma Gandhi once stated, “ The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Volunteering and giving back to the community has always been an incredibly rewarding feeling. It makes you self-reflect, grow and gives you a sense of purpose.

BSU gives back at Publix, Photo by Alexis Rivera

            I was able to serve by packaging meal boxes at both Publix and Feeding South Florida for families around the South Florida area. The FIU Black Student Union in partnership with 100 Black Men of America hosted “BSU Gives Back” on November 23 at Publix a few days before Thanksgiving. We packaged 1600 turkeys into boxes with various cans of produce to provide to families in need. When we first arrived I was assigned to help build the boxes that the groceries would be placed in. As time continued, I began assisting with placing turkey’s into boxes and passing the boxes to the table to have the cans of food added to each one. Once each box was done being prepped and sealed, they were loaded onto UPS trucks to be sent out around the area. This experience was extremely rewarding knowing that we were contributing to helping families enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday. We were joined by many people such as high school students and other community members during this day of service.

Volunteering at Feeding South Florida, Photo by Alexis Rivera

Feeding South Florida is a food bank that serves the Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. With fellow Miami in Miami classmate, Jessica Horsham, we went to the Pembroke Park Feeding South Florida location to package boxes of food for senior citizens. Every year Feeding South Florida distributes over 61,000,000 million pounds of food. This was an eye-opening experience considering that we were volunteering with people from around various parts of the area for different purposes, allowing us to converse and get to know others while we volunteered to pack meals. At the end of our wrap up, we learned that our group packaged 701 boxes in total which was also about 21,000 pounds worth of food.

            If we want to see change, we have to be the change. It is inspiring and humbling to learn what various organizations and nonprofits are doing to support those in need. I look forward to continue volunteering in the near future and encouraging those around me to do so as well.

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