Volunteering at the Library has become somewhat of a routine in terms of planning rides and preparing to complete all of my required hours. However, every time I go, I am reminded that my experience is more than just a requirement for class. No two experiences are alike, which I highly appreciate.
I volunteered at the Library yesterday and had a more stressful experience than usual. I helped a little 7 year old girl with reading, spelling, and math homework. When I first examined the work she needed to complete, I thought it would take 15 minutes at the most, however, she was so talkative and easily distracted that I worked with her for almost the full two hours I was there. She refused to listen when I attempted to bring her attention back to her worksheets. I became frustrated as she would constantly get out of her chair and walk around the room looking for entertainment.
Figure 1: Various books we read beside her math worksheets
I soon started to count down the minutes until I could go home when she hugged my arm and said, “I like you. You are going to be my fourth sister.” I snapped out of my negative attitude and saw how even though the little girl was taking a toll on my patience, I was impacting her life just by helping her with homework and talking to her. I enjoy seeing how children are able to build relationships so easily because of their innocence and openness.
Soon after the little girl told me that, another young girl bashfully walked up to me and handed me a piece of paper. It was a little note that said “You are so nice” with a piece of candy taped to it. I had never helped that girl before, but she had made notes for all of the helpers that were present yesterday. My heart was lifted as I witnessed this small but beautiful act of kindness. My experience yesterday truly made me realize how people can impact others lives without knowing it, like Drew Dudley said in his TED Talk mentioned in my last blog post. I, along with all other students, have the power to be role models, especially for children because they are always watching and absorbing what we do and say.
Figure 2: The note from the little girl with a jolly rancher