Volunteering at We Care Inc. began like any other project. I had to think of something to occupy myself with for the next two months and We Care Inc. came to mind. We Care Inc. is a local outreach center in Middle Island, Long Island, only 15 minutes from my school. I have to admit that I was excited because I had never volunteered, but at the same time I was nervous. What if I didn't get along with the people? What if they didn't like me? What if I was given a job that I didn't want to do? Many questions and concerns ran through my head on the first day as I was drove to We Care Inc.
From the moment I stepped in the doorway, everything was a surprise. The first woman, Lynn, was super nice and had a great personality. Joy, whom I had met before (when she came to speak to my class),was friendly and welcoming. They made me feel very comfortable.
The building was nothing like I had imagined. The cement floors were covered with green carpetting. There were wooden shelves stocked with food. The other rooms (the thrift and antique shop), contained lacy wedding dresses, fine, antique glassware, Victorian bears and dozens of other knick-knacks.
After I realized that my ideas were wrong, I wondered why. I am at an outreach center for people on the verge of homelessness. How is there happiness? I still don't know the answer but I do know that at We Care Inc., there is a constant aura of happiness and miracles are constantly occurring.
Two days before Christmas, a woman came in to pick up dozens of toys for her family, more than she could have imagined. Another woman stopped in for clothes and was given a turkey for Christmas dinner.
I began volunteering as part of a community relations project, but after a few weeks it became much more. Besides organizing a successful toy drive at the local public library, donating clothes and wrapping Christmas presents, I learned that miracles happen to those who deserve them. As they say, good things come to those who wait. fl
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.