(Editor's note: As much as we can, we try to encourage our readers to submit stories, and we're happy to pass along one from Ian Hintz, who wrote about what it meant to him to spend some time giving to another organization that has itself given so much.)
Thanksgiving Day and all of its glory has past, but today my Boy Scout Troop, Troop 141, helped out an organization that is always giving. Although we gave up three hours of our Saturday morning, we met a nurse who has devoted her life to Acres of Hope & Aspirations, a crew of workers who help people with brain injuries with the help of animals. The animals were great fun to play with and clean up after. As we fed the animals and took care of their bird cages and turtle tanks we realized how much work these nurses had to do. We also were lucky enough to hear some of their exceptional stories and the impact of their work to the lives of their patients.
When we arrived we took a quick tour of the house where all the magic happens. We saw colorful rooms full of themes and life. We saw animals: dogs, a cat, pigs, a horse, doves, turtles and tortoises, rabbits and more. We also got to see the great people behind it all. My friends and I were glad to help even though it was only for a short time. Our gang split up into two groups: one outside and one inside. The group that went outside got to shovel up manure while playing with the lively animals.
My group that was inside went through the house feeding animals and cleaning their cages which rewarded us with chattering birds and happy lizards. We also started adding some holiday spirit to the main room. The Acres of Hope house has an enormous oak tree in the living room that we were happy to liven up. We put ornaments on every branch leaving it to look like a true Christmas tree. When we met back up with the other group they were a little messier than we were, but they said they had just as much fun.
We had to ask Lisa how she did it. She told us it was a passion she wasn’t going to let die out. That was already apparent. All and all my whole troop, leaders included, had a great time helping out. We were told the organization has no funding so a couple of us are going to try raising some money to help some more. We also decided we would be back there this coming summer. I know my troop is excited about that and we all want Lisa to know how much we appreciate what she is doing.