Jeremy’s Story: A Life of Faithful Service
The Covid-19 Pandemic has brought with it many new hardships for us all. It can be hard to know how to cope amid such difficulties and know where to turn in the face of such despair. However, one teen has found a way to foster hope in the face of obstacles through faith and community service.
In the face of the uncertainty families face right now, Jeremy Hanson wanted to find a way to bring some positivity into their lives. Jeremy’s had personal experience focusing on the positive while navigating through his lifelong medical condition, Hypogammaglobulinemia. Even though he was diagnosed with a myriad of health complications as a child, he’s never let it stand in his way! Jeremy is a senior in high school on track to be an honor grad, a dedicated golf player, and a devoted volunteer in his community. As a strong Christian, he credits all his accomplishments to his faith in God.
Jeremy has a long history of involvement with his community, from volunteering with Hamilton Mill UMC Food Bank to raising money for kids going through lengthy medical treatments similar to those he’s had to endure himself. According to Jeremy, his initial interest in volunteer work began as a school requirement but quickly grew into something larger. Says Jeremy, “it takes the focus off of my personal struggles and allows me to concentrate on other peoples’ situations. As a result, it keeps me grounded and thankful for what I do have and eliminates the possibility of getting overwhelmed with my own hardships”.
Jeremy found out about the work Wellroot does with families and children via the North Gwinnett Kiwanis Group, where he helped to sponsor four children in foster care for Christmas. This past August, Jeremy facilitated the creation and delivery of snack baskets to some of the families in our care, all while preparing to undergo surgery! In place of any post-surgery gifts for himself, Jeremy is collecting gift cards to go towards our birthday cake ministry, which provides children in Wellroot’s care with their very own birthday cake. Having had many food allergies as a child due to his condition, Jeremy knows firsthand how much something as simple as delicious snacks or a birthday cake can do to lift spirits. He recently put together welcome baskets for the teens in our Transitional and Independent Living Programs who moved into new apartments this last month. He has a special place in his heart for helping children, and one of his personal goals is always to be remembered as someone who spent their life bringing smiles to people’s faces.
Jeremy says his volunteer work has allowed him to grow even deeper within his faith. He views it as an opportunity to give back to God in light of all the trials God has carried him through thus far. Helping those in his community has sincerely strengthened his personal relationship with the Lord. In addition, Jeremy says that his volunteer experience has been that much more meaningful because he’s been able to share it with his mom, who he describes as his moral support and best friend. She has been a constant reminder to Jeremy that God always has a plan and has been his partner alongside the volunteer work!
To anyone who’s considering getting more involved, Jeremy’s advice is to focus on how volunteer work makes you feel. For Jeremy, the feeling of taking time to uplift others keeps him wanting to volunteer time and time again. It helps to put our own hardships aside and focus on helping others. Even in the middle of the many restrictions Covid-19, there are still many ways to donate your time and services. In Jeremy’s words, “if you were considering volunteering, then now is a perfect time to step in and offer your services. Trust me, your time and efforts will be greatly appreciated now more than ever”.