Familiar Face

February 10, 2012
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As the cold steel door opened widely, a gust of warm and inviting air hit my face. I stepped into the unfamiliar kitchen tasked with making dinner.

On a chilly November evening, a group of friends and I went to volunteer at Home Base, a Phoenix shelter that helps out homeless teenagers, to make the residents’ dinner. We were to make sloppy joes, salad, roasted potatoes, and brownies.

I, as well as two of my friends, were in charge of making the salad; mind you, the only salad that I can make comes prepackaged and cooking is not really my forte. My hands started to shake when I attempted to cut the tomatoes and carrots. We finished making the salad and stared at the mess that we created. It looked like a tornado had just gone through; carrot peels, random lettuce leaves, and little pieces of tomato were scattered all over the counter. As we were cleaning up, the pleasant aroma of thyme and rosemary filled the room leaving our mouths watering.

As soon as we were finished cleaning, we were allowed to take a tour around the buildings. Our “tour guide” showed us the entertainment room, gym, and we were even allowed to go inside one of the dorms. Many of the furniture were donated by people with hearts of gold. When the tour was finished, we went back into the kitchen to get ready to serve dinner.

Armed with various serving spoons, we diligently lined up behind the counter. People started to enter the dining area, grabbed their food and sat down at the tables talking to their friends. Many were talking work, school, or the recent episode of Gossip Girl.
As my eyes scanned across the room, I found a familiar face. A face that I had seen every day last year while walking down the halls. A face that was in my Child Development class. A face that I had talked to every once and a while. I never thought that I would actually see someone that I know at a shelter. During that time, her eyes were always filled with joy, and she was always smiling. However, when I saw her that day, she was still smiling, despite her current situation. I was shocked to see such a familiar face at a shelter. Even though she was not a close friend of mine, I felt sorry for her.

On our ride back home, I realized several things that day. I realized that we should be grateful of what we have because we never know when it could be snatched away from us unexpectedly. Also, I learned that even though you might be in a difficult situation, it’s best to smile and keep your head held up high.

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