I believe that everyone should do charity work or community service at least a few times in their lives, whether it’s just picking up trash or playing with and helping supervise mentally retarded kids.
It was summer of my freshman year when I got a ticket for possession of alcohol and underage drinking. The judge slammed me with sixty hours of community service. “What a waste of my summer,” I thought, picturing myself picking up trash on the side of the road with sweat pouring down my face. I have no problem being outdoors but I could think of a million better things I could spend my summer doing.
I reported to the office right outside the courtroom and I found out how I was going to pay my debt to society. The paper read that I was going to be working with mentally retarded kids.
This didn’t worry me because I have been around mentally deficient people all my life. Every summer I visited my dad and step mom. We lived close to my grandmother and great grandmothers’ house, where we spent a lot of our time. It wasn’t only their great cooking that drew us to their house, but it was the fact there was always another kid at both their houses. We played with them like we would our own brothers and sisters. My siblings and I knew that the kids we were playing with weren’t related to us and that they weren’t exactly like us, but what we didn’t understand until we got a little older was that they had mental problems. My aunt Brenda also kept a mentally retarded kid. His name was Tyler and he had Down Syndrome. Tyler had always been a part of the family even though he wasn’t physically related; I had always seen this pale boy with bright red hair as my cousin.
The first day of community service came and I woke up kind of nervous but I didn’t know why. Then I thought, “although I have grown up around them, I never really actually took the time to get to know them.” When I was little we played with the kids, and that was that. Nonetheless, I had to go through with my community service.
I get to the meeting spot where we all get dropped off at and the kids start pouring out of their parents’ car. They looked so happy to be there that I couldn’t help but smile.
Throughout the day, we did various activities. Numerous times we went to a water park, bowling, or we went to the movies. In all that we did, whether we were sitting on the bus to go to the next activity or just making bracelets, they always seemed to make me laugh. The next couple weeks went by way faster than I expected them to. I had really gotten to know them and they were really great kids. Those sixty hours of my life changed me for good. Beside the fact that I had to get in trouble with the law to experience it, I am glad that the judge granted me community service. What I thought would be one of the worst summers of my life, turned out to be the complete opposite.