The Twelve Days of Giving – Day 3

Brooke Friddle, Staff Writer

Organization: NJROTC

NJROTC Officer: Alec Brown

Community Service/Fundraiser: Christmas is for caring / Wreath making

Q – Explain your community service project and tell me when it took place.

A – “So ROTC we’ve actually had multiple community service projects. I know last year we had a trash pick up and that was one of the first ones we had, that kind of set the standard for everything. That one was just down main street, (it) took about an hour. Usually around Christmas time we do Christmas is for Caring and we do making the wreaths for the veterans cemetery down there, in Fort Smith. Usually it takes place on a Friday; that semester test Friday and Christmas is for Caring is on a Saturday.”

Q – Why did your organization choose this particular project to be involved in?

A – “I think it’s because it’s more just helping out the community through the military structure that ROTC has with the veterans and everything and especially the children’s community with Christmas is for Caring, that’s a big one. It’s just giving back to the community. That’s why we chose it. Like Student Council has trash pickups and everything, but we want to extend further than that instead of just going around Alma picking up trash. We want to help out and actually benefit the community in and around Alma.”

Q – How do you think the students who participated in the project’s benefited from them?

A – “I think they became more humble after they experienced it. I know last year there were a lot of people that didn’t really know what the true meaning of community service was. They went in there not knowing exactly, when they meet the people we were serving for Christmas is for Caring. It kind of … gave them a sense of …, they have it really good, a good life and that it’s better just to help out people that may not have as much as you do or anything. Stuff like that gave them, of course humble, but gave them a sense of knowing they are blessed and that they need to stand out and bless others as well .”

Q – How did the students react to giving their time/effort to others?

A – “They enjoy it, they enjoy it a lot. You know, of course, at first, everyone looks at community service as something that they don’t really want to do, but I think ROTC helps out and makes community service fun for people that are working on it. I know for the trash pickups people look as it as not much not fun, but when we got in there and we had fun , we were putting each other in groups, making friends and everything, meeting new cadets. It was great the friendships that were formed and everything. I know wreaths, everybody loves making wreaths at the Fort Smith convention center, everyone loves doing that. That’s always the first thing, the signup sheet is the first thing to go. It’s always filled up pretty fast.”

Q – How did the community that you helped react to your involvement?

A – “They supported a lot. They saw the parents, especially the cadets, they were more than welcome to give their cadets up for hours to do the community service projects. They felt like it was good for their cadets. And they were really happy that ROTC was actually helping out with the community. Especially in the last couple years, how we started putting in more community service for the year.”