A Change of Mind

Ally - Fort Collins, Colorado
Entered on November 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that little words can make a big difference. Ever since I was little I have been volunteering at The Mission. It is a homeless shelter and I go and prepare and serve food to parents and children that need it. Whether I wanted to or not my mom would drag my older sister and I there, even during the summer and on the weekends.

I found volunteering boring. I knew I was doing a good thing but I didn’t like wasting my summer or weekends. I am only fourteen years old, I could have been sleeping or hanging out with my friends or playing outside, so many better things then standing in an old, dirty, brick building dumping an assortment of steaming food on people’s trays like a lunch lady.

Then one day everything changed. It seemed the same as always as I stood there serving food to those people that others had pretty much forgotten about and looked down on, but it was different. I watched the people pass, and then one man said something that changed my life forever. He said, “Thank you so, so much, you have no idea how much this is helping all of us, you are doing a good thing.” I was so shocked, the most I had ever heard was a grunted thanks. I felt warm inside immediately, like I had just been told I was the most important person in the world. I did not know why it had affected me so much.

Never in my life had such little words impacted me so much, made such a big difference in my life and mindset. It may not seem like much to you, but to me it changed 10 years of not wanting to volunteer at The Mission to actually looking forward to it. I was making a difference in peoples lives and even as small as it was, I was helping. I never would have felt this way if it hadn’t been for that man and his simple words of thanks. I believe little words can make a big difference.