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Why I Love Community Service by Gabrielle Medrano

Why I Love Community Service by Gabrielle Medrano



“What’s going on? Where are we going? Wait! You passed my house.”

My mother got a call from the hospital saying that they found my Granny; leaving me anxiously waiting alone as I was the last child to be picked up from the after school program. Had I dozed off? I heard “I’m here to pick up Gabrielle Medrano”.  I immediately picked my head up from my lap and looked over at the doorway. To my disappointment it wasn’t whom I anticipated seeing. Mrs. Tera White, a close family friend and the church’s secretary, smiling back at me “you ready to go sweetie?” Sluggishly I walked to the door. Who would have known that one man’s callous irresponsible actions would lead to such a traumatic life altering void for me and my family? Without audible sound my mind kept screaming, “What’s going on? Where are we going? Wait! You passed my house.” Mrs. Tera was taking me to the hospital, where everyone I knew and held dear were huddled in prayer and muffled whispers. As I entered the waiting area I saw my aunt who was inconsolable, my uncles helplessly standing around and my mom talking to strangers. After a few moments she came over to try to help me understand what was going on. But I will never understand why my Granny was taken so senselessly by a drunk driver. Yet, I thank God for her life’s testimony and the time we shared.

I can vividly remember the excitement I felt during our car rides, me and my god-sister Indya, enjoying ice-cream, corny riddles and the free spirit of being SLG’s (stinky little girls, my Mom would say). There was a slight misty rain falling outside, just enough to keep us from having the windows all the way down. I can still smell the rain kissed earth and feel the heaviness of the warm spring air. It was Friday May 9, 2011. I had just turned 7 years old on Wednesday and my Ultimate BEST friend, My PAL; my favorite person in the whole world had come to pick me up from school for the weekend.

My Granny was always happy to see and spend time with me. She made me feel like the most loved & cherished person on earth. She could make the most mundane activities fun and educational. I still remember her teaching me to say grace before we ate; The Lord’s Prayer; The Itsy Bitsy Spider song; how to ride my 1st tricycle and color Easter eggs. Holidays were her favorite time to celebrate, and she always said Birthdays are a gift from God, then she’d loudly, and slightly off- key begin to sing Happy Birthday to you…Light a cupcake, Eat a candle…and other silly sayings to keep a little prankster girl like me laughing.

My heart raced with anticipation of the beginning of our girl’s weekend. Only to be halted by my grandmother informing me that we had to first run one quick errand. Pick up Rev(s). Marcus, who she knew I idolized, and take him to the airport,. So we traveled from Sanders Elementary in Austell, down the winding East West Connector, across South Cobb drive, thru Highland Drive to arrive at the AmeriHost INN! I kept trying to figure out why the Marcus’ would be at this hotel/motel place?!

Much to my surprise, when we walked through the hotel room door to collect our passengers, my closest friends and family leapt from their hiding places to SCARE the LIVING DAYLIGHTS Outta ME! I still can’t believe they pulled that prank off on ME, the very intuitive, quick-witted, ultimate practical jokester!

My maternal Grandmother’s name is Margaretta Louise Brown. She understood me like no one else on earth. She had a very gentle, kind, and generous nature. I do believe in spirit I’ve inherited some of who she is and I try to emulate her deeds and unconditional love and acceptance of others in my everyday Christian walk and service to my community. My grandmother had a heart for people who are hurting, those who could not help themselves for whatever reason. She did not judge people and was always eager to take in the elderly, young single mothers, homeless men women and children, drug and alcohol dependent, run-a-way’s, shunned, broken-hearted or societies’ otherwise outcast. She was known to sacrificially give more than her last to help others in need.  It is with that kind of love flowing though my veins and the foundational teaching of Jesus Christ prayed for and poured into my soul that I am able to remain strong in the midst of my greatest loss and grief from her passing. It is almost incomprehensible to me that she’s been gone nearly 10 years! Because her spirit to give, to help, to love…. still lives on in me, and in each of those whose life she touched. It is with my Granny’s posthumous blessing that I was able assist a foster youth in Cobb County pursue a college education by establishing the Marge Brown Memorial Fund Scholarship with proceeds from my 15th Birthday dinner celebration “Gabby’s Quince for a Cause”, in 2011. The following year I founded “Gabby’s Closet”, a clothing drive and give-a-way of gently used, up to date, stylish outfits, outerwear, shoes and accessories, with style consultation and outfit paring and makeover, initially for HS girls, now pre-teen. Next year we are growing to include boys and young men’s clothing items ” Gabby & Friends Closet” I love fashion and realize that many middle to high school students often struggle with self-identity, and lack self-esteem simply because of the clothes on their back or life circumstances they face. Everyone wants to “fit-IN” somewhere. If I can put together fashionable outfits, spend a little time to get them to recognize they are special, important, loved and accepted just as they are and help them to see their own God given qualities. I will have attained success. This is my way to give back to my peers and community.

In honor of “Ms. Marge” I also continue to work at the TCC Women’s Missionary Society “white-house” where it all started for me seeing my grandmother volunteer to feed and clothe the least of these.

I plan to continue serving my community as I pursue an education in Biology and Forensic Science, ultimately obtaining career as a Pathologist, helping families identify causes of death at autopsy and researching possible care, cure or treatment options in the disease processes.


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Contributed by Gabrielle Medrano

December 11, 2015