Trying to Make a Difference, No Matter How Small

9 Nov

I come from a financially stable family, which I’m sure is obvious being that I can afford to go to a school like W&J. I have never known what it is like to wonder where my next meal was coming from, where I was going to sleep at night, or whether or not I could find transportation to school in the morning. Nor did I ever have to give up an extra-curricular activity at school because I had no way to get there and get home. I never had to worry about having clothes to wear or blankets to sleep under. However, it wasn’t until I volunteered with Family Promise that I began to realize how fortunate and lucky I am to have lived the life I have up to this point.

The people that the Family Promise program helps are those who cannot afford to buy groceries, let alone a roof to live under. Many of these people do not have jobs and because of other circumstances they are unable to seek one. This program provides meals or these people, a place to sleep, and help with finding a job and moving forward with being able to support oneself, along with any other family members (spouses and children). Seeing these people up close and personal made me realize how lucky I am and compelled me to try to make a difference in these people’s lives as well.

This is my second year volunteering with Family Promise and let me tell you, it doesn’t get any easier. It is tough to watch these families struggle and know that there is little one person can do to help. So I do the best that I can. I visit them at the local church they are staying at, play games with the kids, watch movies with the families, or just listen to what they have to say. All the while I sit and wonder what I would do if I were in this unfortunate situation. I also wonder, “How will this affect their kids?” But at the same time, I am able to connect with these families because they really are no different than me; they have just simply been dealt a rougher hand. Knowing this, I continue to volunteer with this program in hopes that I can make a difference, even if it is as small as allowing a mother or child to vent about what is bothering them. And for this reason, I advise you all to go out and volunteer with this program, even if it is only once. I promise you that you will better appreciate your life and you will want to call Mom and Dad to thank them for everything they have done for you so that you can follow your dreams.

– Taylor Gruss

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