This I Believe

Olivia - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on October 11, 2007

Every summer I go to a camp for one week, called Carolina Cross Connection. It’s a camp located in North Carolina that is designed for high school students to go out and help the elderly and poor while spreading Christianity. This past summer was the second year I went and it was definitely the best week of my life so far.

Each morning we went to a new house to help someone different. On Wednesday, my group drove an hour and a half away from the camp site to a house that was much larger than any other house that I had worked on before. Everyone in our Christian Mission Group (CMG) was confused as to why we were there. When we knocked on the front door, a middle-aged woman greeted us. She was very shy and did not really seem like she wanted to talk to us. We all went outside and began to work. In two days we were expected to fix one side of a large garage roof. We all thought that it would be no problem and maybe we could even finish the whole roof. We got to work and within an hour or so, it was already 90 degrees outside. We were also missing many important tools so it made our work even more difficult. At five o’clock we left the work site and headed back to camp.

The following day and Friday were days that I will never forget. One of our counselors came to the work site with us and after talking with the lady that we were working for, he told us that she was thankful for us being there. She also mentioned that she wanted to talk to us but she was afraid that she would be a distraction. We all decided to take turns going inside to talk to her. She was one of the sweetest ladies that I have ever met. She told me that her husband died five years ago and that she didn’t have any friends. She also said that all of her in-laws had not come to visit her since her husband passed away. Just three months before that time, she had driven her car into a nearby lake in a suicide attempt. She mentioned that she could not take being lonely anymore and that God was the only one who was ever there for her, until now. She believed that she lived so she could meet us. She told how she is so thankful for the things that she does have and the hope we had given her.

This experience made me feel so proud and so happy that I could help some stranger in need. I think that one small gesture made by one individual person can truly make a difference in the lives of many others. If everyone gives what they can, no matter how big or small, the world will be a happier and a better place. This I believe.