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Starring intensely at my mentor I was not sure if I should choose this organization as my last one I had to fulfill for the year. See, I am in a program that requires me to volunteer my time to help others. This time I had to choose a totally different organization to accomplish my last four hours of required community service. I was nervous about going to a different organization and meeting strangers, but she told me it would help me not only to fulfill the hours but also in a greater extent as well. I finally decided that I was going to try it out, and if I did not feel comfortable I could choose another for the next year.
The day came when I had to go and help at the Children's Hospital. Arriving there one of people in charge told me exactly what I was going to do and assign me a partner, Mary, who I was going to do the job with. Honestly, I was terrified. My hands were sweating and I was trembling, but Mary told me that she felt the same way the first time she volunteered; that relaxed me a bit.
We approached the room we were assigned to. The room was nice and nothing like any hospital I had ever seen before. The room was filled with toys and flowers. It also had animals on the walls of the room giving it a hopeful, cheerful feeling. After a couple of minutes of examining the room where I was going to spend a couple of hours; we introduced ourselves to the patient. I extended my hand and told her my name and she told me hers. Her name was Emily and she was 10 years old. I liked her from the start; she was really polite and nice.
We played and talked, her on the bed the whole time and me in a chair next to Mary. We were intrigued do to the fact that we had spent about an hour with her and still did not know why she was there. I finally built up the courage to ask her the reason why she was there.
She slowly lifted her sheet to show us her broken leg.
She said, “I was in a car accident a couple of days ago with my dad on the way to my dance class.”
“How did it happen?”
“A person ran a red light. I remember waking up in the hospital with my leg broken and my head hurting.”
We both said we were really sorry; I told her that she was very brave and that she was going to be just fine.
I lowered my head towards the ground, closed my hands as hard as I could feeling angry at people who do not know the consequences for their actions and the innocent people they can hurt. I could hear my heart pumping and my eyes starting to tear; I held it in as hard as I could to not show the sorrow I felt towards her.
Lunch time came around and a nurse came in and told us she would take over while Mary and I would go to lunch.
After lunch I hurried back to Emily's room to spend as much time with her as possible.
I completed my four hours of community service that day, but I decided to go back the next day to see Emily and to work with other patients that needed someone to talk to. That day I spent with Emily I realized that volunteering is not about if you like the place or what you are going to do, but helping others anyway you can. I believe that was the lesson my mentor had intended for me to learn on my own without her telling me, but by experiencing it on my own.