Painting the Experience | Teen Ink

Painting the Experience

January 18, 2011
By Marvin Hernandez BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
Marvin Hernandez BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Buckets of paint with brushes of every kind, a giant ladder ready to be used, and a bunch of high schoolers. Yeah, this was going to be a long day. Just for six hours of community service.
The annual Phoenix Paint-a-Thon, an event for students to join together and paint a house to someone who deserved it, but could not do it themselves. This was the first community service activity I had ever participated in. Thinking back now, the only reason I joined the Paint-a-Thon was so that I could get community service hours for NHS (National Honors Society). Knowing that this event was going to help me with my hours, I immediately signed up like it was no tomorrow. To my surprise, other of my friends signed up as well.
After packing everything up in the school van, 30 teenagers set off. I was not very excited though because the night before, I feel asleep pretty late and believe me, I was tired. Feeling like a grumpy old man, I began to think about what the Paint-a-Thon was going to be like: Boring? A waste of time? Not worth it? Only way to find out was to do the job.
When we all got there, we were introduced to the owner of the house who was a very kind, charming old woman. She was one of the nicest people I had met in a while. When everyone else started painting, I was assigned to mow the lawn with an old-school lawn mower. This was pretty fun for me, since no one else knew how to mow lawns. Afterwards, I finally started to paint the house with my sister and friend. We worked so hard on the side of the house we were assigned. So hard in fact that it looked as if the paint actually attacked us since we were all covered by it. Yet our work was not finished yet. We were just getting started.
Painting walls, corners, and hard to reach spots was a pretty challenging job, considering that the walls were a pretty high. Here is where the giant ladder comes in. I spent most of my time up on it painting the hard to reach corners and spots. I was doing an outstanding job from what my friends and teachers had told me. I felt like a pro painter. Throughout that time I had really enjoyed being there. I wondered what made me not think I was having fun.
Hours passed and we finally finished the house. Just by looking at it made me feel proud of myself for helping. It was as if the house had been reborn to a new one. Having doing all that actually paid off from what I saw. Not just community service hours, but realizing that serving the community with these kinds of work is a rewarding experience.
Having said our goodbyes to the owner of the house, we all left with smiles on our faces, as well as sore bodies from intense work. Just like a sweet and sour feeling. When I got home that afternoon, my mom asked “So how was it?” Then I turned around all tired looking and said to her “It was awesome”.

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