Traveling doesn’t necessarily mean going thousands of miles away from home; it can be as little as five minutes. Traveling to an adoption home about a half hour away was one trip that I would never forget. I was going here to participate in volunteer work with a local organization. It taught me a lot about being thankful that I have two parents that care deeply about me. I have a place that I can call home and come home to every night. I have my personal space that I don’t have to worry about sharing with anyone else. Not to mention the numerous clothes and shoes that I have lined up in my closet. This is one visit that affected me both physically and emotionally.
Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
The short thirty minute ride seemed like the longest ride in my life, considering I had no idea what to expect once I got there. What would the kids be like, would they even care that I was there, and how could I possible make a difference in their life? All these things continuously ran through my mind as we rode down the highway. As a few more minutes passed I noticed that we were finally exiting the freeway. My stomach began to fill with butterflies with the thought of our destination quickly approaching. Everyone in the car thought I perfectly fine, when I truly a complete mess in my head. I just wanted this day to go as smoothly as possible.
As we pulled into the long driveway my nerves seemed to slowly begin to fade away. My mind finally began to feel at ease. After the car was put into park, we all jumped out and grab the numerous boxes that lay in the back of the truck. These boxes contained gently used clothes, toys, and other necessities that might be useful to them. We brought in the boxes and began organizing the objects that were inside of them. Then slowly the horrified thoughts began to fill my head again. I wanted them to go away, but nothing I thought of would make them go away. But as the children slowly began to fill the gymnasium, my mind began to relieve those thoughts. The smiles all children had on their faces seemed to make everything so much better.
After a ton of directions and announcements the children began to make a single filed line along the numerous tables. Their eyes were filled with joy as each of them realized that the things laid out on the table were there just for them. You would have never thought that these kids would show such a deep interest in books and things of historic meaning. A lot of them obviously proved to be smarter than my friends and I, because we had no idea what some of that stuff meant. I could tell that these kids truly appreciated the things that we had set up for them.
This short traveling experience left me with a lot to think about. The smiles on those kids faces when I handed them a book is a vivid picture that will last in my head for a life time. It made me feel good that I was able to not only put a smile on someone’s face, but truly make a difference in someone else’s life. For me it might of seemed small and insignificant, but in reality I might have done something that may have put an everlasting effect on a child at the foster home. Who knows my one act of kindness could have prevented a child from destructing themselves. Just by letting them know that there are people out there that do care about them.
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