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

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   It was a hot July day. I did not know what to expect. I thought I wanted to volunteer, but I was having second thoughts about spending my afternoon in a convalescent home. Turning back was a thought, but it was too late, so I signed in and headed toward the recreation room.

When I arrived, there were some people sitting around, but no residents. I started talking to a girl who asked me why I was volunteering. I said for something to do over the summer, and asked her the same question, expecting a similar reply. But she told me that this was her community service as ordered by the courts. Now I was sure that I was the only person volunteering who had never spent time in jail. I wanted to go home.

Eventually those in charge appeared and brought me upstairs to get some of the residents. What had possessed me to do this? I listened to my instructions and then went to get some people to take downstairs to bowl. I picked up my aged cargo and nervously pushed the wheelchair down the hall and into the elevator. I was worried the fragile bones of my passenger were going to shatter if I hit a bump too hard. Once bowling started, my job was to pick up the plastic pins as the old folks, sitting in their wheelchairs, struggled with all their might to roll a two-pound ball five feet down the floor to its target. A few of them could barely muster enough strength. This bowling group was probably the healthiest people in the home, too.

By the end of the evening, I was not having as much of a problem as when I first got there. Some of the residents were talking to me, and I was not as nervous pushing the wheelchairs around. I went back the next week and still go once a week. I am actually rather enjoying it now. Some of the old folks are interesting and it is a good feeling helping them. I am glad that I did not turn around that hot July day. 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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