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Changes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Although most days pass without much affect on your life, there are always the fewyou will never forget, ones that leave "footprints on your heart." I will never forget one of thebiggest footprints made on my heart. A year ago, my religion teacher offered a trip to a soup kitchen tocomplete our service hours. Figuring it would be easy, my friends and I signed up. When we arrived, weheard how things would work, then were seated at the tables we would soon be serving. The cooks broughtour dinner and told us we would have time to eat before the people came.

When we heard screamsand pounding on the door, a manager told us the people waiting to get in were extremely anxious becausemany hadn't had a meal for five or six days. My heart sank. How could we, who had just eaten a snack twohours before, eat our supper before these starving people? I couldn't finish my meal, so I got ready toserve my table. The door was opened, and people came in from the cold, running to get a seat. They brokemy heart. There were parents with three or four children with barely any clothes; most were luckyif they had a long-sleeved shirt.

When I served them, some talked and seemedfriendly, while others were stubborn and rude. It didn't bother me, though - they had every reason to be.These people had to walk to this kitchen from whatever shelter they lived in for a meal once a week.

Soon the meal was over; the people began to leave and we cleaned up. Back on the bus, there waslittle talk, and I remember thinking how much I took for granted. Never once did I say "Wow, I amlucky to have these clothes!" It was always a given that I would have enough clothes to keep mewarm, and enough food to keep me healthy. I was upset for not realizing how lucky I am. That trip made mewant to give up everything I know I could live without. I wanted to run back to those people and give themall that they needed. Although this was not possible, it is possible for me to change my outlook on life. Now,when I am asked to make a Christmas or birthday list, I think about the time I spent at the kitchen. My listbecomes smaller every time that experience comes to mind. I wish everyone could have this powerfulexperience. Without it, I don't know how long it would have taken me to appreciate my life.




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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