Julia’s Experience With Kids Helping Kids

Kids Helping Kids is an activity at Friends in which high school students visit the crisis nursery at the Foundling Hospital. The foundling nursery is a place for young children to go for temporary housing when they have no other options. Often times these children have parents who are in the hospital or jail, and they have no other relatives or close friends to take care of them. A few of my friends and I made weekly trips to the crisis nursery to play and interact with these kids. Before my first visit, I was expecting to meet disturbed children who come from such terrible backgrounds, that they could not possibly act similarly to the young children I know. The first time I walked into the nursery room, I was greeted by smiles and waves from the three children, all of them playing with cars and trucks as any “normal” kid would. I started to play with them and quickly found that although these children come from families that are struggling, that does not make them any less capable of being loving, caring, interesting, smart, and overall amazing human beings. The fact that they have had a somewhat unconventional upbringing doesn’t make them so different from the rest of us. During one of my visits, I was spending some time with a five year old boy named Omar. He was the first kid to ever talk to me about why he was at the crisis nursery. He was telling me all about his mom, and how he was drawing of these pictures for her that showed everything he and his brother Miguel were doing, and that she would see them all when she gets out of the hospital. Omar was brought up surrounded by love, and he himself has so much love to spread throughout the rest of the world. The experience of meeting and talking to these kids has allowed to grow, and learn that it’s not okay for me to hear the terms “struggling families” and “no place to go,” and automatically assume that those people are so different from me. I went in thinking that I was going to be “helping and teaching” these kids because they were so “troubled” but after my visits, it felt as though I was always the one who learned something.

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