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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Puyallup, Washingtion, USA

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Puyallup, Washingtion, USA
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AlyssaLatham



Registered: December 2010
City/Town/Province: Puyallup
Posts: 1
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My community experience was called the 30-hour Famine. It was a famine that our youth group chose to participate in to raise money for starving children in Africa. Our two mentors were Reachael Bailey and Lori Haris. Giving up food for 30 hours let us feel what the children in Africa go through everyday. Our goal was to raise more than $30 per person. The reason our goal was $30 was because that was the cost to feed one starving child in Africa for 30 days. The World Vision Organization pledged to match whatever amount we raised. During those 30 hours, we did a lot more than just give up food. We helped out in our community by going Under the Bridge and feeding homeless people and we also worked at L' Arche helping them plant flowers in their nursery.
We were all assigned to bring something to put in paper lunch bags for the homeless to eat. We had a large variety of items that made up a wholesome lunch plus a treat, which was a little piece of candy. I had never served Under the Bridge before. There is one little boy that I will never forget. As I was handing out lunch bags, I felt a tug on my jacket. I turned around and there was this little boy standing there. He had two pieces of candy in his hand. He couldn't have been more than five years old. He looked up at me and said, "Miss, you gave me too much." He held out his little hand trying to give me back the one extra piece of candy. I was shocked. Here was this little boy trying to give back one piece of candy when he had nothing at all. I replied smiling, "Oh, it was no mistake, Sweetie. The candy is yours to keep." The smile that spread upon his lips was the smile of a truly grateful child. The rest of the night I never saw his smile leave his face. This was because of one little piece of candy.
The next morning, we went to a nursery that mentally disabled adults go to and plant beautiful flowers. The nursery was called L' Arche. We helped there only for a few hours. The amount of work we had to do was fairly easy. It was just pulling weeds, planting flowers, shoveling dirt, nothing that we couldn't do. When everything was done, we piled into the van and started pulling out of the driveway. The owner was running and shouting, "wait, wait, wait!" Our instructor rolled down his window and the owner had tears in his eyes as he informed us that the work we just completed had put them a full three months ahead of schedule. That's when we realized that the easy work must have been very difficult for someone who was mentally disabled.
The images of the starving kids in Africa and the little boy Under the Bridge were fresh in my mind. It was hard to watch the kids now rushing to the pizza and gobbling it down knowing that there are kids out there who won't be eating tonight, the next day or even a few days later. These memories I keep with me to this day. I remember all the children out there who need help. These are people that I met and talked with, people that are just a few miles from my house, the children from Africa, they all have names and feelings and they are all struggling to survive. The pain that they go through everyday is real and it is real even to this day.
Date: December 28, 2010 Views: 5620 File size: 18.9kb, 1823.7kb : 3296 x 2472
Hours Volunteered: 300
Volunteers: 30
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 to 40
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