Washington, DC, Thursday, March 14

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By Chloe Lentchner ’19

Today was our last day of service of week one. I am in Kim’s group with Josh, Mindy, Peter and Cat. At 8:30 a.m. we woke up and left for our day. As usual we boarded our bus to head into the city. Our service was held at the Oasis Senior Center, which we learned was a place for homeless seniors to visit, rest, get their clothes washed, and get food. The center itself was located in the basement of the Lutheran Memorial Church. When we walked in the doors, there were around fifteen people sitting around playing games, taking a nap or socializing. Faces lit up as we entered and the program director immediately came up to talk to us about our task. We were asked to play games and socialize with the people in the center. There was a lot of competitive Uno games happening, but we all learned a new game and a personal favorite at the center called Rummikub. We played countless rounds of the card game until it was time for us to return to YSOP headquarters.

Today’s service was different in my mind to the previous week’s worth. It was the most direct work done, and though it seemed like I was just having a good time playing games, serving food, and learning about the people in the center, I could tell that my presence made all of their days a little more enjoyable.

After returning to YSOP we had a group reflection, unpacking our week’s service and sharing all of our highs, lows, and excitements for next week. It was interesting getting to hear everyone’s thoughts on the work we were doing because there were a lot of similarities and even some comparisons. Following the meeting we headed out for some fun to the National Harbour. We all had dinner together and then explored the town by riding the ferris wheel and getting ice cream. It was such a great and fun way to end our first service week!

By Chris Chan ’19

Today my group went to do service in the IONA Senior Services. This took place in the St. Albans Episcopal church. We started off by helping prepare the tables by placing covers and utensils. After that, one of the members of the services named Nathaniel asked us to help him with distributing the food. The food we served the senior citizens included chicken mixed with tomato, mashed potatoes, carrots, along with a small serving of orange juice and raspberry yogurt. I was happy to see that IONA was aware that some of their visitors may be vegan. Therefore, we were also able to serve some vegetarian options for the senior citizens.

In addition to food prep and serving, we were able to workout and do exercises with the senior citizens. We each took a pair of dumbbells and performed bicep curls along with fast leg movement to make sure that the seniors were staying active. I think the weight training was helpful and seeing us younger students getting involved was something that motivated everyone to keep pushing through the entire workout.

Overall, the meal and the exercise were great activities for us to get to know the senior citizens that we were entertaining. I think I can speak for the group when I say the experience was pleasant. We were also very impressed with how some of the senior citizens knew a variety of languages. Ironically the senior citizens had their own cliques at tables which kind of reminded us about a high school lunchroom environment.

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Filed under A Day in the Life, Service, Student Work, Students

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