Submitted By becka4882
This semester I had the opportunity to do my service learning volunteering at two different places. One was Friends of the Night People and the other was Habitat for Humanity. I chose to do two different places so that I could get a different experience from both, however the Friends of the Night People was the one that had the most impact on me. Walking in I honestly didnt know what to expect. The other volunteers were very friendly and I immediately felt like this was going to be a good night. They put me on drinks to serve. However, as the night started and people began to pour in for food, clothes, and some warm shelter I was flooded by alot of mixed emotions. I immediately felt a sense of reward for helping those in need. I felt like they needed all of us and it also gave me a flash of what the world is REALLY like out there. The only goal i had while i was there was to keep a smile on my face and try to make people feel welcome. Here were people who have nothing and yet come in with a smile on their face and so appreciative just for the littlest things. While I was serving drinks I tried not to be judgemental and open minded. There were some great moments and also some sad moments. There was a few times where my heart would just break for them. A woman came in beaten up and still smiling and thanking me for being there. Several people came through in worse shape than most and carried everything they owned in just one garbage bag. That was the hardest thing for me to watch. Then there were people that just made my day. Here I am more fortunate than most and people were thanking me, blessing me, and calling me a godsent for helping them. Those were the highlights of my visit. While people were coming through I made sure to use both verbal and nonverbal communication with them to make them feel welcome and that they were in a good place. With some people it was very hard to talk to them or make any kind of communication. Some people were high on drugs, having conversations with themselves, and some wanted nothing to do with us. I tried however to make sure i greeted them with a "hi", "hello", "how are you" and made it my mission to give a warm smile to EVERYONE that came in. Sometimes a big smile was all they needed. Most people responded well and smiled back, or greeted me with a "god bless you" or "your an angel from God". Some were not as approachable and just walked on by like I wasn't even there. This experience was definitely an eye opener. It made me feel good about helping people. It made me sad but at the same time very thankful for all that I have. It made me realize that no matter how bad things may seem there is ALWAYS someone in more need than you. Someone who has it way worse than us. It has given me new perspective on life. I enjoyed volunteering and would probably do it again. I left feeling grateful, thankful, and also sad and heartbroken knowing there are so many people out there in desparate need of our help. We, the more fortunate, can make a difference.