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

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   My mother told me I had to do it because I had too much time on my hands. She wanted me to do something that would keep me busy and out of trouble. She worked at Bristol Hospital and wanted me to volunteer so she could keep an eye on me.

I never wanted to be a volunteer. I was afraid everyone would be older and I wouldn't know anyone. This was definitely not what I wanted to do with my spare time.

Most people had to fill out an application and have an interview with Dixie, the lady in charge, but not me. I wasn't even old enough to be a volunteer, but since my mother worked there, I just had to show up for a training day.

I dreaded that day for weeks. I tried everything to get out of going. About 20 people sat in the hospital auditorium and listened to nurses talk and demonstrate transporting patients in wheelchairs and learning how to make perfect hospital corners with the white hospital sheets, stamped Bristol Hospital. Then the fun part came: we had to practice these things. "I don't make my own bed, why should I have to make someone else's?" I asked Kevin, the only other person there I knew.

After perfecting how to fluff pillows and walk with patients who are hooked up to a machine, the kitchen staff brought us a snack. Everyone hurriedly gathered their food, like they were going to starve. After inhaling my sandwich, I remembered, "Hospital food, yuck!"

That day wasn't as treacherous as I assumed it would be. I have continued to volunteer for four years! I realized that my service made others' jobs much easier, the elderly smile, and the children laugh. To make others well emotionally, that one awful day was worth it all. 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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