Elks scholars across the country are serving those in need, volunteering their time for causes close to their hearts. Thanks to the support of the Elks family and her ENF Cornerstone Grant, Krystyna Farrell is expanding her service experience to include veterans.
Krystyna, a 2014 Legacy scholar sponsored by Glens Falls, N.Y., Lodge No. 81, was excited to volunteer with veterans, as most of her prior service experience had been with children.
“I have spent a lot of time working for kids and teens,” says Krystyna. “This project was an opportunity to bring service work to my community and help those who have protected our freedom.”
Serving Those Who Served
With the assistance of several members from her sponsoring Lodge and VA hospital staff, Krystyna organized a catered lunch for veterans at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center. After soliciting local businesses for food donations, Krystyna planned the lunch to thank the veterans for their service.
After serving older veterans during lunch, Krystyna sat and spoke with them about their lives.
“He was a very interesting person and simply lit up when he had the chance to have a conversation with someone,” says Krystyna of one veteran she spoke with. “The other volunteers stated they each had similar experiences. The veterans simply wanted people to talk to.”
Volunteering for Veterans
Thanks to Krystyna’s efforts in obtaining donated food, she was able to use the remaining ENF Cornerstone Grant funds to purchase and donate items that are rarely donated and greatly needed, including clothing and personal care items, which the residents usually cannot afford.
Krystyna was grateful to partner with her Elks family to serve area veterans in need and expand her commitment to serving others.
“The opportunity to receive these funds has made me even more interested in volunteering with veterans in the future,” says Krystyna. “I had the Elks family behind me to support me and that gave me the courage to plan my first personal service project.”
In 2015-16, the Elks National Foundation allocated $1.1 million to fund 250 scholarships for the children and grandchildren of Elks. If you know any Elks children who are high school seniors, encourage them to visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars for information, including eligibility and deadlines.
Elks scholars are serving with Lodges across the country. Click here to learn more about their service.