The Power Of A Helping Hand MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   The Power of a

Helping Hand

by Paula G., Hockessin, DE Ever since I was young, I have loved children. Their cheerful, carefree attitude and innocent behavior amaze me and make me smile. Since I was twelve years old, I have been baby-sitting and loved it. Last summer, I decided to put my desire and love for children to work; I applied to volunteer at the local children's hospital.

After many intimidating interviews and hours of training, I was hired. I walked into the hospital on my first day expecting to be treated like a surgeon. Needless to say, I was wrong. I reported to the volunteer office and was assigned my first task - delivering meals to bed-bound patients. Partially disappointed, I obeyed. Although I felt my love for children was wasted delivering food, I soon found that my five-minute visits with the patients made a difference.

To my surprise, I found many of the children waiting outside their rooms, anticipating my visit. Before I knew it, the kids were asking me to stay and talk as they ate. After socializing with many of them, I was sad to hear that over half of these children receive no visitors except me. When I heard this, my heart sank.

I remember one child in particular. His name was Tommy. Tommy was nine years old and had AIDS. As I got to know him, the doctors warned me that he might not have much longer to live. I remember hearing repeatedly, "Do not get too close. Before you know it, he will be gone." These statements did not discourage me from being there when Tommy needed me. I asked myself, Without me, who would he have? No one.

As the days went on, Tommy became extremely weak. There was a point when he lost the strength to open his eyes. Although Tommy could not see me, he knew that I was there. One afternoon, I walked into his room, more excited to see him than ever. Tommy was not there. The sheets were fresh, and his Nintendo was gone. I ran to the hallway and asked the first nurse where to find him; surely they had moved him. The nurse stared at me, pain in her eyes, and before she said anything, I knew what had happened: Tommy had died.

For nights I cried myself to sleep. I wondered how such a horrible thing could really happen to such a wonderful child. After much thinking and growing, I have come to realize that although Tommy's death was one of the hardest things that I have ever encountered, he was one of the best. Through this, I have realized how much of a difference one person can make in someone's life. Since that summer, I have continued to volunteer at the hospital and look forward to each "work" day.

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i love this so much!


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