by Mindy Xu ’19
We followed our morning routine, taking the bus and stopping at Starbucks, before arriving at Unique Rehabilitation Center. This is a facility that takes care of mainly seniors, but there was one young amputee who was also there. After taking a tour of the four floors and getting a sense of their schedule, we immediately noticed they were severely understaffed. We were only able to help distribute coffee, interact with the residents through memory and word games, helping them go to the dining area, and serving the lunches to the residents. It was mentally difficult to see the conditions in which the people had to live in, and to know that there was little we could contribute to help. Though after this heavy experience, we went to the Lincoln Memorial and got pizza, which was a good stress release for all of us. The last activity of the day was another YSOP dinner, and this time, I helped prepare the garlic bread. I was originally sitting with my usual group, but Kim encouraged me to go sit at another table. Angel came and sat next to me, and we immediately bonded through our love for Kpop music. Jumping from talking about Big Bang to BTS, Angel and I established a strong connection. As we ate dinner, the conversation switched to heated topics of racism and feminist issues, of which Angel had firm opinions. We shared our thoughts on these prevalent problems in society, and after desert, Angel went to sit with her other guest friends. It was disappointing that some familiar faces were not here, but also refreshing to meet and establish relationships with new people.
by Anisgul Stanikzai ’19
It is our second week of our service trip. Today we did our served at the H.D.Cooke School, a public school. We took two buses to get there and it took us an hour to arrive. The school was well staffed and very clean compared to other places we volunteered. The minute we arrived each member of my group was assigned to work with a first-grader. We read books to them aloud and worked on new vocabulary.
We were not the only volunteers to read to the children as there were some other older people from the community, too. The children we were reading to needed help because they struggled with reading and pronunciation. During the time we spent with them, we taught them how to read and helped them use new words in a sentence. It was a very good experience because some of the children were very excited to read their favorite books. Each one in my group enjoyed spending time with those children. We were happy to have the chance to chat with those children.