October 15, 2010

JUELFS: Community service taught all of us a lesson

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Editor's note: Softball senior Jamie Juelfs writes weekly blog updates for UNCBears.com throughout the softball season. She'll bring fans up to date on what exactly is going on behind the scenes with Northern Colorado softball.


Helping the community that you live in is always something that people want to do. But who really ever does? I and my team got the chance to do just that this week, and we made a difference, and it was a blast. Coach Montgomery gave us the week off of practice, so we instead hit the ground running and attacked several community-service projects.

Our first stop was to the Weld County Food Bank, and once we got there I quickly realized that had no idea how many programs the WCFB had and how many people it really helped. With five main programs, the WCFB mainly is in place to help kids who are going hungry or their families who don’t have enough money to buy them food.

It was very moving to realize that so many people in our community don’t have such a basic need. It was nice to know that we were providing help to an organization that gives so much to our society.

The next day we headed off to Dos Rios Elementary in Evans, where we got to work with fourth and fifth graders, and teach them about softball and spend some quality time with them! It was an amazing experience seeing them light up when they got a hit or caught a ball. I think we forget how lucky we are and how the little things really matter.

The teacher that we were working with told us that we were an inspiration for these kids and that we were a representation of a dream that they have of going to college. That hit hard, knowing that we represented something that big. Playing with those little kids put a smile on my face for the rest of the day!

The last stop for the week was to a Good Samaritan Nursing home, where helpd out with arts and crafts projects with some of the residence. Now, our team was a little nervous to work with the elderly, because sometimes it can be hard to find something in common with them, but by the end of the session we were all submerged in their stories.

I got the chance, for example, to meet Ruby from Mead, who grew up on a farm and then moved to the South to be with her husband who served in the Army. She and her husband moved back to Longmont after his service time was over, and they started working on her father’s farm. The conversation then took an interesting turn when she informed me that her husband left her for another woman! She was an amazing lady that I was happy to meet and do crafts with!

Our team is full of such wonderful young women with a lot of talent and bright futures. We have so much going for us in our lives that we sometimes forget how such a little thing like doing crafts or teaching about souftball can help brighten a person’s whole day. The little things in life are the most important, and our team got to be a part of those things this week. I can tell you that all of us took something out of these experiences.

Now, it's time to meet the only sophomore on our team this year, Melanie Buol. Melanie, our starting third baseman, is from Loveland, and she attended Loveland High School before coming to Northern Colorado as our only freshmen in last year's recruiting class.

Mel is one of the most positive people that you will ever meet, and her enthusiasm is contagious on the team, and everyone loves how bubbly she is! Mel will be a huge contributor to our team this season, and I can’t wait to see what she will accomplish in her career. When I asked Mel what her favorite softball memory was she told me it was playing in the All American Televised game at the Sparkler Tournament. Mel is looking forward to conference starting so that we can really show everyone what we are about.

Melanie Buol

Favorite Movie: "The Proposal"

Favorite Color: Purple and pink

Favorite Food: Olive Garden's Steak Gorgonzola

Family: Steve and Teresa Buol and brother Erik