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Givng Back

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“Okay, Guys we have a few more spots to Andre House. Who wants to sign in?” Mrs. Green stated.

Mrs. Green, my English teacher had told us there was a spot available to go to Andre House located at, 1203 W. Polk St, I decided I might go. I have never done any community service or even know what I was supposed to do there. I was clueless, but I took the risk. Andre House is a hospitality place where volunteers like me, go in prepare the food, serve it, and then clean up, all for the homeless and the less fortunate people out there. I thought it would be a nice experience to try something new and to help people out.

I told my mom about going to Andre House and she supported me to the fullest she told me that there is no better feeling than knowing you helped someone out, and that you made their day. My mom had done a plethora of volunteering events when she was young and I knew that if she liked it so would I. Mom always taught me to give back to the community when we are able to, because not everyone is as fortunate as other people. That night I laid in bed and thought of all the homeless people that do not have a home. Where could they be sleeping, what do they eat? Do they bathe everyday like I do? My mind was going crazy, with all kinds of wild thoughts running through my head. I was ready for the next day.

“Everyone to their stations please, we will be opening in about 5 minutes and there will be a lot of people so please try to make it as fast as possible,” Danny the guy in charge of Andre House said.

After about an hour of preparing the food, it was finally ready my arms hurt a lot I cannot lie. Everyone that went had a specific kind of food to serve. That Thursday night was spaghetti night, and I was in charge of the dessert line, which was yogurt or j-ello. I was pacing back in forth my hands were starting to sweat underneath those latex gloves, I did not know what to expect if the people would be or not be nice I had no idea what was to come. As I am pacing back in forth, the people start coming.

“Would you like some dessert?” I would say.

“Yes please, and thank you young lady.” The man would reply back gently.

The line continued for about 45 minutes or so. “We need another box here Danny please.” Box after box, I think we unloaded about 5 boxes of dessert that night. My legs hurt, I was hungry, and I was tired and I had the anticipation of going home. One elderly lady interrupted my thoughts she said, “Thank you so much young lady for taking the time to serve us people, God bless you and thank you once again.” How selfish was I being? What was I thinking about? Here I am serving these less fortunate people who one day had a home, and now they are living God knows where, day by day with no roof on their head. My stomach felt like it had a thousand butterflies just roaming about. That was guilt.

My night had changed, and I began to put a little more effort into my work. I would smile and make eye contact with the people so they would feel a nice warming welcome. My night continued with many “Would you like some dessert?” and so forth. The night was getting to an end and we were cleaning everything up. Danny came forth and said, “Thank you guy for making this night another success, its kids like you that we need to better out future that help others out not wanting something in return.”

That night I realize what my mom, had said was true. It did feel good to actually help the community out and give back. All the smiles I received from the people were priceless. They were so grateful and thankful. I could not believe that one simple thing such as serving food, would make someone feel appreciated and important. I would go back to Andre House any day and help out.



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