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Super Sunday

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The commotion of every day life tends to make people callous and inattentive. When I came to America I was disappointed to see people coldly pass by an old homeless person who is quietly asking for change. In fact, some of the most significant lessons in life can be told by “invisible” people. Often times those who have been dealt an unfortunate hand in life can have a wise outlook and can teach much to those who have never experienced the fight for survival. They are not acknowledged as they should be and are often thought to be a burden to a society which essentially silenced them with its ignorance and remoteness.
I found out about the Jewish Board of Family and Children Service (JBFCS) by chance when their representative visited my Junior High as a part of a program that offered a free trip to Six Flags for recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union. While on the trip I was told about the Board’s mission to help out the community and joined as a volunteer.
During the winter of last year I participated in an activity called Super Sunday from UJA Federation and JBFCS where the volunteers collected contributions for the poor. After the event, I took the train home. As soon as I stepped on, a homeless man began speaking with me. In light of the community service that I had performed earlier that day, I decided to sit across from him and listen to what he had to say instead of going to the very end of the car. In our hour-long conversation, Brian had told me something that I will never forget. “Do you know what makes Christmas?” he said. “Not buying presents or spending money, but going home to your mom and dad.” Though he may not have graduated from college or owned more that the clothes on his back, that day Brian had opened up my eyes to an important issue: in a country driven by materialism we often lose sense of family and kindness.

This day made me realize how important it really is to help people within your community. People, who might not have money or a roof over their heads, possess a world of knowledge and a willingness to share it. Performing community service can have a lot of appeals on a person. It's easy to get caught up in the details and travails of one's own life. While I do not have the intention to trivialize my own troubles or anyone else's, it was useful to be reminded that other people have problems of a more serious nature, and that maybe mine aren't so catastrophic after all.





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