This I Believe

Ryan - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on February 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

For the past three or four years, around Thanksgiving time, I have volunteered to help the poor and homeless at St. Vincent DePaul in Chicago. This takes place once a year and I always have an amazing experience. What happens is that the homeless of Chciago come to St. Vincent DePaul and they are paired up with one or two volunteers. The volunteers, such as myself, then take them around the building to the many different stations that are set up. At the stations they are able to get a sleeping bag, socks and underwear, toiletrees and clothes, shoes and accesories. They are also allowed to take a shower, get a haircut or see various doctors if they please. Since this event takes place around Thanksgiving time, we volunteers seat our partners and then serve them a nice Thanksgiving meal. I have always found this to be a very heartwarming experience and I always take something away from it.

I believe that it is important for all of us to give thanks and be thankful for how much we have and what we often take for granted. Seeing these people’s faces light up because they are given someone’s old shirt and a pair of pants was bittersweet. I was happy to see them so happy, but on the otherhand, it saddened me to know that this may be the only clothing they recieve all year. These are some of the nicest people you can ever meet and their joy is infectous. Being in their presence reminds me that we should all strive to be more like them in our day to day lives but simply showing more gratitude for the people, items and oppurtunities we have surrounding us.