As the end of the year approaches, the temperature drops causing concern for people in need. On October 23th, I followed the volunteering work of The Rotaract Club, a volunteer organization at Mercy. The Rotaract Club is a global service organization that I knew had previously been familiar with, so when the opportunity to volunteer arose I didn’t hesitate. Especially when I heard the cause was helping children, a subject near and dear to my heart. Jasmine Dumas, a supervisor of the organization contacted the local charity that specializes in housing children to set up a monthly visit. The volunteers partake in a lot of fun activities with the children, such as playing board games, sports and crafts with children. There were 10 students and we all piled in a van with toys to bring to the kids.
The children love playing basketball, although the weather made it difficult the group couldn’t help themselves and dove right into a short game. . Matthew Lento, club present who has visited for 4 years, said “Playing basketball with them was exciting because they were very much into the game. They didn’t have much of a hard time playing fairly, which made it even more enjoyable” The volunteers also played handball with the kids, on the playground.
Kiersten Ethinger, one of members who had started to visit this charitable institution when she was a freshman, has volunteered for 2 years. Ethinger said, “There has only been bad or really cold weather twice since I have gone. So those were the only two times I have been inside with them. The first time we played the card game Uno and the second time we played some card games. Let’s just say the games never ended well because they like to make up rules as the games go on.” she said.
A couple of volunteers played card games and watched a scary movie indoors. One volunteer played a game with kids learning English to help them practice the alphabet.
“Honestly I’m just happy to be there. They just put a smile on my face and make me feel good. I just hope that while we are there we help them forget all of the troubles that they are going through, just like going to them I forget all of the stressful things that are going on in my life and I just have fun.” Ethinger stated.
Watching the volunteers with the children made me choke up a bit, I could see each and every one of them had a pure heart from the way they interacted with the kids. At the same time, I could see their efforts to protect, the children. The whole outing inspired me in my quest to help children, and one day I hope to volunteer more in the future.
“I have loved all the children. However, sometimes it is a little tough to have a continuous bond because each time we go someone isn’t there anymore and there are new kids too. So we don’t really get the chance to hang out with a child one on one, Ethinger said.
“Also, they are all boys and at their age they don’t think girls are cool to hang out with so they normally gravitate toward me when it comes to hanging out they go running to the guys and as time goes on the gravitate towards everyone else.” continued Etinger.
Anyone can volunteer! Before it gets even colder, let’s hold out our hands to someone in need.