The Biggest Impact

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“Welcome to Delbarton, West Virginia. You will be helping this community for the next week,” said Sarah. She was the leader of Youth Works, which was the camp we were staying at.
I was on a mission trip with my church. Where we were staying wasn’t too bad of a town. They were in the coal mining business, so there were railroad tracks everywhere. When we first unloaded our vans, it was a hang out night. We learned about what we would be doing the week we were there. I signed up for an activity called Kids Klub. This meant I would play and hang out with kids from the community.

“Time to get up!” said Sarah.
We all rolled out of our sleeping bags, got dressed, ate breakfast and climbed into our designated vans. We pulled up to an empty park.
“Wait here while we go get the kids.” Sara said as she rushed back to the van.
No one knew what to expect. Were these kids going to be good? Would they like us? About an hour went by and the vans rolled up. Out jumped 20 kids. They went crazy, running around. The weird thing was, none of ran toward us. We walked to them and attempted to talk to make conversation.

“Hi my name is Shelby. What’s yours?”

“My name TyTy,” screamed a little boy, with the biggest southern accent.

Out of nowhere, an older girl came and ripped him away from me saying “Don’t ever touch my brother again!”
I was shocked. What did I do? I decided to go ask Sarah.“Why did that girl just rip TyTy away from me? All we were doing was talking.”

“Most of the kids don’t like making buddies.”

“Why is that?”

“Because you guys leave after one week.”

In a matter of seconds, my heart broke. These kids had no one. Their parents weren’t around. The groups of us that came to spend the week with them just up and left after a week. I decided to try and talk to TyTy again. Surprisingly, his sister allowed it.

The next few days went by fast, but the last day was the toughest. I went to drop my buddies off at their houses. Seeing where these kids lived was hard. They were old, run down houses with garbage in the front yards. They were not suitable for kids to be living in. Finally, it was TyTy’s stop.

“Well goodbye TyTy,” I said while giving him a hug. I was trying to hold back tears.

“See ya, Shelby. This was the most fun week I had the whole summer!” He jumped out of the car and ran inside.

I couldn’t help but smile. This little boy had made the biggest impact on my life and he didn’t even know it. That week changed my life. I’ve learned to appreciate what I have. I appreciate having a family that is around all the time, having people that love and care about me. I now don’t take anything for granted.





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