Make a Difference

April 21, 2009
By Katie Cox BRONZE, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Katie Cox BRONZE, Kalamazoo, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

My eyes darted back and forth, studying the faces of the people around me as I made my way to the shelter.
Many people were smoking and wearing old, worn out clothes.
Why was I here?
I would've much rather been at home reading a good book in the branches of my oak tree.
Unfortunately, no suck luck.
I would be stuck here all afternoon, helping out.
As I walked through crowds of people standing around, waiting to be let in, butterflies filled my stomach.
I felt out of place, like a mouse in a sea of cats.

I finally reached the food storage room, where I would be helping other volunteers pack up food and give it to those in need.
I walked in to find the warm, smiling faces of other volunteers around me.
It put me at ease, and my butterflies died down.
Being around people more like me was comforting.
But no matter how much better I felt about this job, I still didn't want to be the one to hand a bag to a stranger who didn't have a home.

That wish came true, until later in the evening.
"Katie, why don't you grab those bags and hand them to the person outside. I'm kind of busy," my mom said while reaching her hand in the fridge for some more bread.
My eyes grew wide.
I knew this moment was bound to come at some point, but my mind convinced me otherwise.
I knew there was no avoiding it.
The time was now.

I walked to the door that would open to a stranger.
I stood there with my eyes closed, convincing myself that this was just a dream, and I'd wake up at any moment.
I squeezed my eyes shut tighter, then opened them.
Reality was back.
I had to do this.

I reached my hand out and opened the door.
I figured I could get rid of the bags and close the door pretty quick.
The door opened slowly.
I hoped for the best.
I looked up and saw a man.
His clothes we old and faded.
He looked as though he hadn't slept in days.
But his eyes were really what struck me.
As I gazed into his soft brown eyes, I saw a man, strong, but with a heart of gold.
He was a man who never gave up, and would do anything for a friend.

I suddenly remembered what I was supposed to do.
I reached down and grabbed the bags of food that were lying by my feet.
I held them out to him and gave him a warm smile.
He returned the smile kindly and took the bags.
But, to my surprise, he just set them back down and held out his hand.
As we shook hands he said, "You are a blessing. You are one of a kind, and you don't know how much this means to me."
His eyes gleamed, and he grabbed his bags and walked down the hall.
He grabbed the hand of a small boy, and they left together... hand in hand.
I now realized that I had made a difference.

Making a difference isn't something you set out to do.
You have to let it come to you.
For that you must have an open mind, and an open heart.
That man opened a gate for me that opened up to sunshine and daisies.
And I had walked through it.

You see, everyone has a gate like this waiting for them.
It may open, but you have to be the one to step through.
This will take courage, and you may have to make a sacrifice or push yourself out of your comfort zone to get through.
It may be difficult but everyone can do it.

This man not only opened my gate, but he also gave me an understanding for those less fortunate than me.
I realized that everyone is a person and has feelings.
Everyone has a warm heart.
You just may have to dig deep down to find it.

So next time the gate opens for you, step right through with your chest out, chin up, and a smile that comes from your heart.

Similar Articles


This article has 3 comments.

on May. 12 2009 at 7:10 pm
Snowkittenz BRONZE, Kalamazoo, Michigan
4 articles 0 photos 13 comments
oops! even I mistyped "such" in my comment!

well, once again, I will say that I really liked your poem!

And yes, it is hard to categorize this poem, because it's not really fiction or nonfiction...

on May. 6 2009 at 12:41 am
Katie Cox BRONZE, Kalamazoo, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
Sorry about the typo in line 8! It is supposed to say no such luck! Again, I am sorry!

on May. 6 2009 at 12:22 am
Snowkittenz BRONZE, Kalamazoo, Michigan
4 articles 0 photos 13 comments
I thought that it was very deep.

I like your part with the man in it, very well done.

I believe that you made a mis-type, though, because you said "no suck luck" instead of "no suck luck".

Still, I loved it!



MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!