For service day 2017, my advisory with a few other advisories went to the Shop and Stock food bank in West Harlem. This was one of the best and most rewarding service days I took part in because I could see exactly how my service was helping people in the community. We helped unpack boxes and stock shelves for people, especially senior citizens to get food. I think food banks like this are really good for communities because unlike many other charity programs, they offer a choice to people coming for food. The Shop and Stock food bank creates a miniature “supermarket” for people coming in. There is variety in food and fresh produce, instead of just pre-prepared packages that I’ve seen at many other food banks. Throughout the time we spent there we could all see the way people from the community came to the food bank. We saw how wonderful programs like Shop and Stock really affect people in communities.
When our group first chose our social issue, Police Brutality, I believe we all knew how important our issue was, but through working with the innocence project and doing more research into the issue, we all really found out how this issue determines American justice all over the country. Especially with visiting the Innocence Project head-quarters, and seeing the hard work they do to stop police misconduct and wrongful imprisonment, we all really saw how we have to fight for this cause. I think that through the project I really gained public-speaking skills, I worked very hard with my group to convince the YPI because we all were so dedicated to the Innocence Project’s mission.
At time’s I think we all found out how challenging it was to properly communicate how this issue was important to American citizens. I also found it hard to create a good presentation to make people understand our issue. But when we got up there, and gave a powerful presentation about our issue and what it means to this country and all it’s people, it felt the most rewarding. At that point I didn’t really care if we had won because we informed people about the importance of what we stand for.
I hope that in the following years I will be able to check in with the Innocence Project and continue to see the good work they’re doing every day. I also hope I can give a yearly contribution because I have seen how all Americans must take a stand against police brutality.