Lauren Schmitt - Grade 7, Incarnation Catholic School
Doing Good and Feeling Good
When you help others you may be surprised you may actually help yourself. Some people look at helping others like it’s a tedious task. If you think about the effect you will have when you help people in need it will make you happy. A time when I experienced this was when I helped out at Tops soccer, a soccer league for children with disabilities.
When I first arrived at Oak Grove, the park the practice was being held at, I felt nervous and excited. I walked up and said hello to the coaches then got assigned a partner. My partner was very happy and excited to play. We then got started and he told me that he was having a lot of fun. We worked together and our team won!
We started with a warm up, and then moved on to passing, then throw-ins, and then we scrimmaged. We did the first few activities for about ten minutes then the scrimmage was about thirty minutes. Each time a goal was scored they’d let a different kid take the kick off. Each kid looked like they were having a lot of fun. The kids would get really happy when someone scored. It was great to see the looks of joy on all their faces.
Someone also brought their Golden Retriever to the park. It was fun to see my partner’s reaction when he got to play with the dog. My partner would grab my hand and run over to pet the dog then drag me back to playing in the game. During our water break he would bring me over to his parents and tell them how much of a great time we were having. Then he would have me follow him back to center field and we would start playing all over again. Things I used to take for granted such as passing and shooting the ball were a little more challenging for my partner, but by sharing my skills I was able to help him. Travel club soccer puts a heavy emphasis on winning and performing at a high level. There is constant pressure on me to practice and play at a high level but volunteering reminded me why I loved the sport.
This was such I great experience. I am very thankful that I got the chance to help out and play with the kids – especially with my specific playing partner for the afternoon. I play club soccer so I was able to share something I love and help my partner with different skills. Seeing how happy all of the kids were made me feel so happy that I had indeed also helped myself. I would definitely do it again. I hope others will help out with this program because when you work with these kids it will not only put a smile on their face – it will also put one on yours.