Growing up in a town so privileged and materialistic, it is hard to see things from the other side of the spectrum. Those who can afford extravagant lifestyles have nothing to feel guilty for, however they also should not take their Mercedes Benz CL-Class Coupe or one pair of Louboutin’s for granted.
After nine years of private school and four years of high school with all expenses covered by my parents, not to mention the fact that I never spent one dime on my car or gas for that matter, I thought it would be nice to give back, and anyone can do it!
All of you have the capability to help out, with any budget too. If you do not have much to offer economically, especially during these hard times, it is no problem at all! Recently I made several holiday cards, which I sent to the Red Cross to be forwarded to all the troops in the Middle East and around the world who invest every second of their lives to supporting our country and the very freedom we take advantage of day by day.
Hurricane Sandy devastated so many people along the East Coast. Communities were destroyed while others remained unscathed. Living lavish lives and while accumulating wealth is not the time where support is needed, it is during times of devastation and ruin where coming together as a community displays people’s true selves, and when support is most appreciated.
We are the voice of generation-Y, and as the youth of the country it is our job to be proactive towards our future. We are so truly blessed to live in a country full of endless opportunities, and it is so important to be thankful and show our appreciation through community service and volunteering.
While volunteering down at Rockaway Beach this past weekend, I can honestly say how proud I was to be an American and part of this amazing generation. Most of the volunteers where people amongst my age group who tirelessly put every second we were down there. While ripping down walls and restoring the storm victims’ basement, the only thing I could think about was how amazing of a deed we were all doing collectively. Over 100 volunteers came out that Saturday morning, flooding four school buses that left from Yonkers, New York.
During our commute we passed the beautiful city that never sleeps, New York City, and made our way to Rockaway Beach. The scenery progressively got worse. Buildings were dilapidated, houses in ruin, and even homeless dogs were roaming the streets.
My friend and I took a break after gutting out the basements of two homes in a heated tent. Tables were filled with victims and volunteers telling their stories of heartache and displacement. One woman across the table from us had no home to go back to, and the clothes on her back were the only material objects that remained in her possession. People were thankful for the littlest things, and material wealth no longer mattered. There was such a positive vibe filling the streets that day as progress was seen all around.
The most poignant point of our day for me ironically came after we left the volunteer site. As I rested my head on the school-bus window, I glanced at the destroyed houses passing by. Outside one of the homes were two children, perhaps young teens. As the bus passed their home they smiled and waved enthusiastically and I could make out the words “thank you” on their quivering lips.
I just leaned back and smiled, my day was complete.
Michael Kaye | Elite.