Madeline Weeda - Grade 9, Oakwood High School
More Than Just Volunteering
As children we learn that we must complete our duties in an orderly fashion, and once the task is completed we will be rewarded; however, how does someone learn to become a better person if we don''t understand that one can have fun whilst completing a task? As Nancy Cartwright says, “Be well. Do well. Have a lot of fun.” We may be able to complete a task comprehensively, yet we must also enjoy what we do so that we can continue to stay exemplary. Take for example the time I volunteered at a retirement home, this shaped who I am with just a single experience. Exiting the car I felt slightly anxious. It was morning and the retirement home was a large, elegant building that smelled like a hospital. My 12 year old brain was scattered like if you pour rice on the ground and are forced to pick up each seed one by one, one thought came to another and it seemed my mind was becoming even more disseminated. My sister knew exactly what to do as we trekked up the stairs and obtained the bingo supplies. We then went back to set up and we then went to grab a couple of residents who’d like to play. Arriving at a door, my sister gestured for me to knock. My hands were clammy and I hesitated slightly, yet eventually I got the nerve to knock and ask the woman if she''d like to play. This continued on for a couple of minutes until we went back down and waited for their arrival. We jumped into bingo instantaneously once everyone had arrived. I played bingo as my sister called the numbers. My mind started to slow down as I listened to the resident’s stories. When you walk into a retirement home you instantly infer it''ll be a bunch of old people fighting over bingo numbers, yet as I listened to them I was completely intrigued. They told me of the past and how it had become molded into our current society, and stories of their children, who most of the time didn''t even come to visit them. I also believe that perhaps I was something to them. Most of them didn''t get to see fresh faces and were even trapped like prisoners in their rooms, bored out of their minds. I conversed with them and listened to them in a way that a daughter would talk to her grandparents. This entire trip gave me more respect for these people and made me feel so much more elated than I had been in a while. If I hadn''t mustered the gall to step out of the car and see what these people were like I would have never had this experience. Everyone should stand up and do something: people should try and make a difference in our world by just trying something new. You may find something that you''d never believe you''d enjoy.