Chicken Soup

6 Nov

Last year I wrote a little bit about my Sunshine Substitution (its pretty good- you should read it) and I mentioned in brief just how good it makes you feel to volunteer, although not so eloquently said. Well, at any rate, I have decided that this year I should make an earnest effort to pin point just what it is that makes you feel so good. You see, I have always been a fan of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books but have always been concerned with the idea that all the things that go into those chicken soup books start off rotten and only in the end produce a lesson. While there are inevitably days where America Reads is like that, it usually is just wholly positive, it warms your heart and feeds your soul. On any given day when I’m not feeling my absolute best I can always count on walking into America Reads for some Chicken Soup.

Chicken Soup America Reads style has quite a bit that goes into it. It is truly miraculous but somehow these children seem to be lighthearted, witty, humble, kind, and a montage of other admirable traits on the days that any given mentor most needs to witness these traits. On any given day there are a few things I can count on at America Reads. I can count on my “home dog skillet biscuit” to say or do something silly and in turn make me smile. I can count on at least one hug and hugs always make a person feel good. I can count on at least one child wanting or asking me to help them with their homework which makes me feel good for being needed. I can count on funny faces that make me giggle. I can count on high fives and fist bumps. I can count on at least one child teaching me something new, even if that new thing is an obscure way of thought, I can honestly say I learn more from these children than any class could ever teach. I can count on playing games, which proctors an opportunity to be relaxed, carefree, and stress-free. Nevertheless, what I can count on most and what truly makes my soul gleam, like chicken soup on a gloomy day, is the prospect that the majority of these children will be just as happy to see me as I am to see them.

The idea that not only can they make my day but also I have the capacity to make theirs and unfortunately, many of these kids need their day to be made. 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 cannot quite articulate the magic of working with these kids at America Reads but believe me when I say it is a blessing. Each one of these kids has attained a certain inspiring influence over my everyday outlook! Moreover, many of these kids have found a special little place in my heart! Thanks to the kids at America Reads no matter if my day is gloomy or sunshiny bright I can always count on a heart-warming bowl of Chicken Soup for the soul.

– Amy Doherty

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