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A Life-Changing Experience This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     When I was given acommunity service assignment at school, I had no intention of actuallydoing it. I thought I'd make something up. After thinking about it,though, I decided someone, somewhere might actually need my help, so Ivolunteered at a nursing home.

At first I couldn't stand goingthere. It made me so sad to see people who just looked at the walls oftheir room. I knew I couldn't quit, so every day I distributed the mail.One day, when I was almost finished, a man in his late 70's begantalking to me. He asked what I was doing and why. I explained about myassignment and moved on. In the next few weeks, whenever I saw him, hewould ask how I was doing and if I'd had a good day at school. I beganto look forward to seeing him. One day I decided to stop and listen tohim; he told me stories about his life. It turned out he was not aresident at the nursing home, but a visitor. His wife has been there for15 years and he has breakfast, lunch and dinner with her every day. Thatamazed me because it seems many families leave relatives there and nevervisit. Not him. I think about his love and devotion to his wife everytime I go there. Although she can't speak or move, he never fails tocome.

I always thought community service changed the lives ofthe people you helped, but I was wrong. Community service has changed mylife. I respect the way others live, and admire the love and devotionone person can have for another. What began as a chore is now somethingI look forward to.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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