This I Believe

Amy - St. Davids, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This is what I believe. You may agree or you may disagree, but this is something that has woven itself into the deepest holes of my heart. It has the power to change the world, to change the outcome of history. It has the strength of a thousand men and the virtue of even the greatest of those throughout times past. It has authority over you and over me. It has the potential to promote good and evil, and it does. It has the capability to build up or to tear down, and it definitely does. It has the aptitude to transform lives and has begun revolutions of love and of hate. I believe in the power of one voice. This is what I believe.

I seem to always think that my voice won’t matter, that my words won’t make a difference. Why should you or anyone else care what I have to say? Does my perspective have the power to make change? Is it these thoughts that hold me back, or is it perhaps the fear of the unknown change that could result from the truth that change is actually needed?

These fears seem to have escaped my mind for the past month as I have been volunteering at an after school program in Norristown. The kids there live in poverty and do not speak English very well, which makes it hard for them to learn in school. The stories they have told me about their lives have broken my heart and are the reasons why I’m not so scared to speak up to make a difference anymore. One little girl told me about her abusive brothers, another about her sexually abusive father. Some have told me that they don’t celebrate holidays because they don’t have enough money for food. Others are simply happy that they don’t have to be out on the streets for two hours after school. Each of them come with their own problems, most of which are never heard because no one takes the time to listen.

In order to help their stories be heard, I wrote a letter to my pastor informing him of the situation and asking for help from my church. We are now taking up offerings for the program and assisting them in any way that we can. Other local churches have also been informed and are in the process of serving the children and their families as well.

This may not have much of an impact in the big scheme of things, but because of one voice, hundreds of other voices are also being heard. Because of one voice, a family will be able to provide their children with something to eat on Christmas day. Because of one voice, someone will have a blanket to keep them warm during the winter. Because of one voice, many will be given hope for a better tomorrow. This may not be much, but I still believe in the power of once voice.