Once a month for the past two years, a group of around four students go to the Association to Benefit Children. The Association to Benefit Children (ABC) is an after school program for under-priveleged children. There are kids ranging from pre-school to middle school that attend ABC. When we go to ABC we work with the lower school aged children. We help the children with their homework when we first get there. Once they finish with their homework, the kids will sometimes go to the playground on the roof, go to their gym and play a fun dodgeball-type game, play with blocks or plastic animals, or have story time. Then we serve them dinner and try our best to entertain them while they eat. After dinner the kids are picked up, and in what felt like ten minutes, the afternoon is finished.
Every time we go to ABC, it becomes more meaningful. At first, the kids seemed happy to have high schoolers working with them, but it was nothing special to them. We were just another volunteer group to them. But then this year, it changed. They started to remember our names, and jump for joy when they saw us. They would entertain us during their dinner instead of us entertaining them. For me, the trips became less of community service and more of hanging out with these kids. It is really special because they look up to us, and they want us there. They are excited for our visits and look forward to them. We know that we have volunteered to the fullest extent when we make a connection with the kids.
If others are interested in learning about ABC volunteer opportunities, they can visit the organization’s website: http://www.a-b-c.org/volunteer.htm or speak to me or Jennie Nadel. We head up the student organization, Tickets4TKTS, that works with ABC during the school year. Our club also raises money through LS Sports Clinics that then allows us to take the ABC children to professional sports events.