This I Believe

Amy - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Every single day there are millions of people around the world in need of something, whether it is our time, donations, or hands. I believe that it is our duty as individuals to give back to this country that has given so much to us. I have personally been involved around my community for many years. My experiences have unquestionably opened my eyes to the world around me. I believe that volunteering is an experience that uniquely shapes us and it is necessary that we, as individuals, whole-heartedly understand the magnitude of helping others.

The moments that I treasure the most from my volunteering experiences took place in the Troy Aikman room at Cooks Childrens Hospital. It was there that I met one seventeen year old girl who has forever left a mark on my heart.

A shy girl came up to my nail painting table, she looked so sick that she couldn’t even try to hide it. She had on a flimsy hospital gown, and kept her portable I.V. close by her side. She sat down in front of me, and I smiled knowing that she was in no mood for small talk. She picked out the color she wanted and weakly pushed it across the table. I asked her how old she was, and she replied “seventeen.” A wave of discomfort came over me because at the time I was only sixteen. I was taken aback a little because I now realized the helplessness of the situation. On top of everything, I was not a very good nail painter, which didn’t seem to matter with the youngsters, but now I was trying so hard to do a good job. As I painted a pale shade of pink, many thoughts were running through my head. I felt awful, here I was sixteen and full of life, I was perfectly healthy, and so happy to finally be able to drive. I felt free and ready to take on the world. Sitting only two feet away from me, was a seventeen year old, hoping that when she wakes up tomorrow there will be no pain. When we finished she looked at her hands and smiled in approval of my work. After she walked away I said a little prayer for her, and to this day I still wonder how she is doing. I guess I will never know, but I like to think that maybe I helped her a little. That one moment proves that volunteering is about the influential impact any individual can make in such a small amount of time.

I believe that volunteering is a step forward in our world to make the most of our lives. I believe that if I was in one of the sick children’s positions, I would love for a young girl around my age to take the time out of her day to come and paint my nails, even if she was a bad nail painter.