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(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

By Angela Choksi, Barrington

As the beautiful orange and red leaves fall to the ground, symbolizing the near end of Fall, as it merges into Winter, the happy time of Thanksgiving comes around. Thanksgiving always makes me pensive about what I am truly thankful for, and how I can reciprocate that to my community by doing good, as, after all, Thanksgiving is much more than simply gorging on a delicious turkey! Thanksgiving to me is not only a time to give thanks, but also to receive thanks, as, in my mind that makes one more humble, and allows them to truly realize the importance of all the things that they have to be grateful for. Thanksgiving is a time of laughter, joy, and warmth, and volunteering allows me to contribute a little bit towards increasing these positive values in another family’s home, something that I can reflect on later, as I sit with my own family for a Thanksgiving feast, feel appreciative for the opportunity to do some good. Thinking about all the many wonderful things that I am thankful for, including a warm and loving home, a caring family, a challenging, yet friendly school district, and an especially cute puppy, I always think about the numerous people in the world that are not as fortunate as I am.

As an active volunteer, I always try my best to give back to my community as much as possible, and help make it a better place. I desperately wanted to do something nice for underprivileged families this Thanksgiving, and fortunately enough, I was provided with the perfect opportunity to do so, when a club that I am a part of at my high school, “Code Red,” decided to “adopt” a family for Thanksgiving. The concept was pretty simple, we would shop for all the Thanksgiving essentials for a family assigned to us by our local district, and then we would present all the goodies to them on Thanksgiving Day. We decided to shop for all the delicious treats of Thanksgiving at Jewel Osco, including ripe cranberries, hearty potatoes, crisp asparagus, juicy oranges and apples, sweet pies, and much more. This activity not only helped us get all the necessary goodies, but also helped our club members bond together, and feel more like a close-knit family, adding yet another thing to our long list of things that we were thankful for.

Volunteering allows me to not only help my community, but also to better myself as a person, as, every time I volunteer, I feel even more humbled than before, as, being exposed to new experiences, and meeting new people that are less fortunate than I am, gives me a much clearer picture of the many things that I have to be thankful for, and that I am blessed with, and surely helps put my priorities in perspective. This is the first year that I have been a part of Code Red, and the first time that I am going to volunteer in such a unique way. I am extremely excited for this wonderful opportunity, and I wish that anyone reading this, and who has the opportunity to contribute to his or her community do so, as it is truly a pleasant experience, and the altruistic, and fuzzy feeling that you get when the people you are helping look at you, smile, and say their thanks, you will feel even more appreciative for that exact opportunity and experience.

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About angelachoksi

Angela Choksi is a Junior at Barrington High School. She currently serves as the Captain of her high school's Debate Team, started a successful Poetry Club, and is an Executive Member of her school's Fine Art's Board, Relay for Life, UNICEF Club, as well as the Barrington Giving Day Board, among other extracurriculars like Math Team, Spanish Club, and Scholastic Bowl, all while managing a rigorous AP course load. She plays Badminton and Tennis for her school, and is a voracious reader, a lover of Classics, and Non-Fiction. She loves learning new languages, and is fluent in 5, including, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, English, and Spanish. She wishes to major in Economics and Political Science, while minoring in Foreign Policy and Finance, and hopes to attend Law School. She loves keeping up with current affairs, and her favorite pastimes are spending time with her family, and her puppy, Coco, and volunteering her time to help better her community. She is a trained classical Kathak dancer, and an accomplished Pianist. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding Community Service, including the Presidential Service Award, as well as Academic Awards for Congressional Debate, and Business Professionals of America, where she was a National Qualifier in the Interview Skills and Human Resource Management categories.

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