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Past Me, New Me
“Do you want to come to Read To Me?”
It was during seventh grade when I first ever heard of Read To Me. My older sister a high school freshmen at that time had joined Interact, a campus club where one can volunteer and help in many places around the city of Phoenix. Read To Me is where one can volunteer every Tuesday night to read to children whose families live in a shelter. This volunteering service is a way to allow kids to grow in their reading level as well as for the kids to enjoy time with someone without worrying about what situation their parents may be going through.
Before this I’ve never done any type of community service or even thought of how others lives differed from how mine was like. I've never wondered what struggles others have had to deal with but rather stuck to my own life seeing what I saw as important which I later saw as wrong as volunteering has actually helped me be at peace. Seeing that I could help and aid others served to make me believe that there was more to life than just struggling with my own problems.
“Oh my gosh look how cute!”
My first time at UMOM’s ,the location in which Read To Me takes place, was a pretty eye opening moment for me seeing as I saw many young children awaiting for the time to turn to 7 pm when they would then be allowed to enter the room and began to interact with volunteers of different ages. They looked like little cute animals awaiting to be awarded something they most desired. Me, being new to this, I stuck close to my older sister, but yet once I saw that this experience was nothing I was thinking it would be like I let myself let go and interact with the young kids.
“Hello, how about we go play eye spy”, I exclaimed to a young girl who passed by.
“Yeah, I wanna do the princess one”, responded the little girl with as much enthusiasm as I had.
The second time I visited UMOM’s for Read To Me my younger brother also went along with me and my older sister. It was quite a fun time as my brother wanted to go to read to younger kids and end his day helping out and volunteering. While there my brother was looking for someone to read to and by accident he was mistaken as someone to be read to and him being a shy little guy said nothing but let himself be read to.
“Hey, do you want me to read to you?”, questioned an older lady.
“No, I’m…”, stuttered my little brother.
“Come on, let’s pick out a book”, interrupted the lady.
It was quite amusing it was as if a baby goat was trying to act grown up. But being able to make another kids day either younger or older brings joy as it gives off the feeling that you are doing something else that can be the highlight of their day.
After a while I kept on going to Read To Me with my sister and brother. This event became a real family affair. I never really realized that one could a bring a smile to another’s face with a simple gesture like reading to children in a shelter. Helping to volunteer has opened my eyes to the difference one can make by giving a couple hours of their time to attend to someone else’s needs. The first time I ever volunteered will forever be stuck in my mind as it let me acknowledge that volunteering is not a waste of time but also and experience one can have that can even change their personality or emotions to certain things that they never once had. Even now, as a junior in high school, I still volunteer at Read To Me, my younger brother still attends and next yearly little sister will join us. I know we will all continue to volunteer for the rest of our lives.