Making A Difference This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I go to private Catholic school which is very big on community service. You are actually looked down upon if you do not do some form of community service. Being a freshman I was scared enough that I would not fit in, so I started looking at the different possibilities. Finally I decided to work as a volunteer at our local hospital, something my friend was already doing.

When I started I felt very unsure. I had heard good and the bad sides of the hospital: staff and patients yelling at us, not doing the job well enough for this person, or not getting a wheelchair fast enough. But the good side of my new job was yet to come. My friend could only help me so much with training. Soon I was on my own. Many of my other friends asked me why I was doing a job for which I was not being paid. At first I could not answer the question but now I can.

Every Monday I walk into the hospital not knowing what to expect. But now I look at my job with a different attitude. I no longer see it as a duty to society, but as a way to try to help brighten someone's day, and help make things run more smoothly. Delivering flowers, medicine, papers, or just saying hi to a patient, especially the very young or the very old makes a difference in their day. They now recognize me, and say hi. They tell me about their day and ask about mine. Once home I know I have helped and made a difference.

My job has its ups and downs. I've had my share of angry doctors and nurses. But I have had more smiling patients and little kids brighten my day. I have seen sides of people that can only be found in a hospital, both good and bad. I think it has taught me more of a life lesson than anything else. I now tell people when they ask me why I work for nothing, that there is a special feeling I get - the feeling that I did something good and was a friend to people who needed someone.

More and more of my friends are thinking about joining the hospital volunteer staff. But being a hospital volunteer is not the only job that is needed. I tell people to look around before making the decision to commit to a volunteer job. Commit to an afternoon or a weekend first helping someone who needs it. I have found that volunteering has affected my life in many good ways. I see life from a different angle now. fl

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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 10 at 2:23 am
i love this so much!
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