by Rachel Braman
title quote by Anne Frank
I am proud to say that volunteerism runs in the family and that I can dedicate this post to my younger sister Madison. Madison is a fourteen-year-old high school freshman who has a heart of gold. When she isn’t on the golf course playing in international tournaments, you can probably find Madison sitting in a Starbucks chit-chatting with friends. When you meet her, I can pretty much guarantee that one of the first things you will realize (well, besides how tall and beautiful she is) is what a great head she has on her shoulders. Though she is young and still has many life lessons ahead of her, Madison understands what it means to be a good person and how the actions of one person can affect others.
When I realized I was going to be a big sister, I told myself that I would always strive to be a good role model and to be someone Madison could look up to. What I didn’t realize then was that my thirteen-year younger sister would also be a role model to me. Madison continues to teach me life lessons every day and I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming. One thing Madison has always been is a supporter of my desire to help others and make a change in the world. When I began writing for Love Infinitely, Madison instantly was behind me one hundred percent. When she told me that she wanted to start volunteering I couldn’t hold back tears. It meant so much to me that she admired what I did so much that she wanted to do the same.
Madison officially began her path of change when she and her mom volunteered with our Capital District Habitat for Humanity’s Sheridan Hollow Redevelopment Project. As Madison is too young to aid in the actual build, she worked the food station. Madison helped her mom purchase, set up, and serve lunch to all of the volunteers. When lunch was over, she realized that they still had a lot of food left. Instead of bringing the food home to her house where her cupboards were always full, Madison asked her mom if they could bring the leftovers to the local homeless shelter. When they were dropping off the food, Madison noticed that there was a shopping cart and what looked like a makeshift home outside of the shelter. Without blinking an eye, she put together a plate of food and set it in the cart. She later told me that she did this because she had a feeling that someone called that cart his/her home.
Through this experience, Madison showed me that you can make a difference no matter your age. All you need is a heart and a passion for providing others with at least a fraction of what you have.
For more information on the Habitat for Humanity Capital District, contact the Volunteer Coordinator Melissa Moore at Melissa@HabitatCD.org.
Rachel is a 27-year-old law student from Upstate New York who was born with the desire to help others. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies, Rachel headed off to law school in order to provide herself with the ability to help others in a way that they cannot help themselves. Whether she is acting out her position as Project Director of Albany Law School’s Anti-Human Trafficking Pro Bono Project or simply listening to someone’s story, her heart is open. When she is not at school studying about the rules of evidence or the rights of the child, she enjoys going camping with her fiancé Brennan and rambunctious Yorkie, Chip. Follow Rachel on Twitter and Instagram, @RachelBraman