Operation HOPE teaching humanity

July 20, 2016-JOYCE DAVID Staff Writer

When I began my life as a college student, I had no direction whatsoever. I didn’t know what I wanted to major in or what career path I wanted to follow. I was completely lost. But that was before Service Learning introduced me to Operation HOPE.

 As I began volunteering at the shelter, I fell in love with it. My experience at Operation HOPE was one of the warmest and most welcoming experiences I have ever had. What contributed most to my experience at the shelter was working with the clients. I was so fascinated learning their life stories. But what fascinated me the most was seeing their smiling faces at the end of the day when they knew somebody was there for them. That’s when I realized what my calling in life was. I wanted to help people and show them that someone’s there when they are in need.

 I volunteered during “Children’s Hour.” This is a time where volunteers provide activities for children living in the shelter, such as art, games, and coloring books, while their parents are in classes the shelter provides for them. While I was volunteering during this time, I always interacted with a toddler we will call Adam. Adam would cry for his mom every time she left him in my care while she joined the other parents. Adam’s mom is just 18 years old. At first I thought she was his sister. The volunteers and I would make sure that Adam was entertained in his mother’s absence.

 I am currently a human development major planning on transferring to a four-year university to pursue a career in a non-profit organization. I am very grateful for the staff at Operation HOPE for being so helpful, and Bea Palmer from Service Learning. If I never participated in Service Learning, I would still be unsure what I want to do with my life.