I’m very fortunate position to have been involved with Quantum Rehab® since I was a teenager. While most kids were going to football practice or playing video games, I volunteered my after-school hours to mentor at-risk youth and individuals with disabilities. I have always been involved with my local community and I’m very proud to be a true New Yorker. My parents always told me that if you give out good, good comes back to you. If you give out bad, the bad comes back to you.
When I was younger, my dad always volunteered, whether it was coaching sports or helping the American Legion. I always went with him. Sometimes, I’d carry a bucket of baseballs so he could throw batting practice to the team. But I never truly realized the lessons I was learning until I got older. Now, I feel it’s my mission to make my community a better place. Having a disability can be challenging at times. It’s a physical and emotional roller coaster. If you don’t have a disability, it’s hard for you to understand.
Volunteering has helped me during those times when I am at the bottom of that roller coaster ride. Recently, I received a call from one of my friends. My buddy told me that the local VFW was outside of a shopping center a few miles away. Even though COVID-19 is still an issue, I threw on a hoodie, my shoes, grabbed some cash and went to the store. When I arrived, there were two veterans sitting behind a small table. I went up to them and thanked them for their service. My grandfather was a Marine and my dad was in the Air Force. I explained that I wanted to donate and we talked for a bit. As we were talking, I noticed a lot of people were walking by and not donating. So, I asked them if collecting donations is normally this slow. They explained that it’s hit or miss most times. So, I asked if they minded me staying and helping out. My schedule is free for the day. Two big smiles came across their faces underneath their masks.
If I saw anyone come out of the store, I said good morning and asked them if they would like to support the local VFW today? I explained that I know times are tough right now, but even change in your pocket goes a long way and helps veterans right in your community. People started putting money in the jar left and right. Within the hour, the jar was full and we had raised over $1,000. The veterans were so thankful. They even offered to buy me lunch. I told them that I appreciated their service and the service of all the men and women in our military. They allowed me to help them make a difference in the community.
I am forever thankful for my parents teaching me the importance of giving back and volunteering. This has allowed me to be the best version of myself.
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.