Day 41: Volunteering with Kids at a Homeless Shelter


I’ve volunteered before, but not as someone who chaperoned a group of kid volunteers. Sort of meta-volunteering, for lack of a better term.

The kids had Valentine’s Day cards and gifts to present. At first, the children were shy around each other; tentative, not sure what to say or do. Then the kids from the shelter started opening their gifts.

They were books. Novels.

And the walls disintegrated before my eyes.

Voices blossomed, excited chatter about Spiderman, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Lemony Snicket filled the space. Suddenly, the kids were all speaking the same language. Behind it was a beautiful bonding over imagination, wonder, inspiration, humor and hope that transcended socioeconomic status.

People say that math is the universal language; today, the universal language was love of a good story that allows a child to experience another place, other people, and usually–at least with most children’s books–ultimately solvable problems.

Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.


4 thoughts on “Day 41: Volunteering with Kids at a Homeless Shelter

    • It sure was. Kids bonding over books is a pleasure to see, especially when they are so wrapped up in Minecraft and other computer games. Long live the written page! (PS I hope you were able to get Comic-Con tickets!)

      • Ah, right. Well, be poised to hit that button THE SECOND tickets go on sale. If you get frozen in the waiting room, take a screen pic. This happened last year. Those who had screen shots of being stuck in the waiting room had first chance at ticket re-sales. If possible, get several friends and family to be ready to hit the button for you, too. Increase your chances!

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