Over the course of this year, my friends Andrew and Matthew introduced me to a community- service group -- the Young Vincentians at St. Francis De Chantal Parish in Wantagh.

As a group, we raised money to help people in different areas of the world. We did many projects during the year, such as a car wash, a special-needs dance and a bread-and-soup dinner.

The event that was the most special and inspirational to me was volunteering at a soup kitchen. When we got there, I could see the people were really in need. My friends and I started by making packages of T-shirts, towels, toothbrushes, etc., for everyone who came to take a shower. Then, we sorted baby clothes for the children.

Everyone who needed them received coats for the winter, and the kids came by and found sneakers, boots and clothes. It was a very insightful moment to see how many people really are in need of help right here on Long Island. After that day, I realized how fortunate I am to be part of a group that can help change the lives of others.

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access