Sunshine substitution.

14 Nov

My little brother, my best friend, my main man: Sam. He is the yee to my hah, the reason for my smile, and the light of my life! Sammy is my sunshine. Now granted nobody is perfect not even Sammy. Sammy was born with an extraordinarily rare chromosomal disorder and with such has many types of what some call “disabilities”. It is precisely because of Sammy that I choose to volunteer, he is the reason that I believe that everybody has something to offer, that everybody has different abilities and disabilities and since caring is sharing it is important to share both our abilities and disabilities with others. That is what I like to believe I am doing with America Reads: learning, teaching and leading from others and with my own abilities and disabilities.

With my sunshine back home in Hershey, I thought for sure I would go insane, suffer severe psychological effects of sunshine deprivation. However, courtesy of the kids at America Reads I found a substitute source of sunshine in Pittsburgh! Apparently, it is not just Philadelphia that is always sunny, it is Washington Park too! Every single day I look forward to going to work because I know somebody will be as happy to see me as I am to be there. I also know that somehow even if I do not quite know how, somehow, at least one of these kids will make me smile, especially on those days that are not quite smile worthy. Somehow, I always seem to get hugs on the days I need them most. Even on the difficult days they know how to make my soul gleam with the prospect of their appreciation. They may not always listen, they may not always understand their homework, and they may not always state their appreciation but believe me it is all there. When you really need them to listen and plea with them, they listen. Even though they may not always understand their addition problems or spelling believe me when I say these kids are too smart for their own good. And even though they do not always remember to tell you so, you can tell by the way they react to you and converse with you that they appreciate you and look-up to you!

Try as I may, I can not quite articulate the magic of working with these kids at America Reads but believe me when I say it is a blessing. While nobody can take the place of my Sammy sunshine, these kids do a pretty good job of keeping me sane without him. Each one of these kids has attained a certain inspiring influence over my everyday outlook! And, many of these kids have found a special little place in my heart! Thanks to the kids at America Reads, I do not know what a day without sunshine would be like!



2 Responses to “Sunshine substitution.”

  1. wjamericorpsfellows November 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm #


    What a wonderfuly warm and fuzzy post! I am so happy that you are experiencing such joy with your volunteer experience. You are so right when you say that sometimes the children don’t always say they appreciate you–but it is there. Whenever it is a tough day volunteering you have to think about the child that said something silly or made you laugh–those are the little rays of sunshine.

    Thanks for your great work 🙂


  2. Nikki November 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    This is such a great story that truly made me think twice about why I volunteer. There is no better joy than to see the kids happy and learning, but also being able to give back to you as well and teach you to be more humble and enthusiastic. The fact that you are able to turn your personal life into a greater message for your kids is wonderful and a lesson that all can learn from. Awesome work, way to keep with the sunshine.


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