A special thank you to communications volunteer Monica MacMillan for contributing the following blog post.
Mitchell Alandt is a busy fourteen-year-old. An honor student who is also active in water polo, swimming, and basketball, Mitchell spent the summer working by teaching swimming lessons, babysitting, and running a garage sale. But instead of using the money he earned to buy video games or movie tickets, Mitchell decided to do something else. “I used all of the money from the garage sale and part of the money from working to purchase backpacks and schools supplies for the Samaritan House backpack drive.”
Mitchell’s motivation for his generosity is simple. He believes that helping others who are less fortunate is just the right thing to do. “If kids start off the school year with supplies, they can focus on studying, rather than worrying about not having supplies to do their work,” he says. Despite his full schedule, Mitchell has made volunteering an important part of his life. While in Junior High, he has volunteered over 150 hours of his time, an achievement for which he received special recognition at his 8th grade graduation. In addition to donating to the backpack drive for several years, Mitchell has helped out in the Samaritan House kitchen, making sandwiches and organizing the food pantry. He is also active with other charities and community service organizations. While serving breakfast to the homeless at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, Mitchell remembers meeting a man who told him that he and his dog depended on these breakfasts to last them through the entire day.
Mitchell contributes not only to the wellbeing of his neighbors, but also his neighborhood. A few years ago, he participated in the bay front cleanup efforts at Ryder Park. In addition to helping remove harmful items that were floating in the bay—tires, a lamp, and even a bicycle—Mitchell also found a woman’s wallet that the police were able to return to her. Mitchell plans to make community service a life-long commitment. “It’s good to volunteer. I am busy with school and sports, but I feel great when I can help others even in small ways.”
If all of us made more time in our lives to help others—even in small ways—it would have an enormous impact on our community. Mitchell hopes to inspire other teens and pre-teens to get involved, and to not take what they have for granted. Mitchell’s mom, Corinna, couldn’t be prouder, saying, “He has always had a big heart.”