Gus Moody’s Service Reflection

Throughout this year, on every Day 8, I took a trip across the street to Stuyvesant Square Park to volunteer for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. During these trips, I replenished the doggy-bag dispensers throughout the two parks on either side of 2nd Avenue. Through this experience, I had the pleasure of experiencing what the parks I grew up in after school as a child looked like when all of the children of New York City were in school and the parks were just being enjoyed by the other citizens of NYC. Not only that, but I also met the kind Stuyvesant Square Park head Josie, who I would see every week or so on Day 8 as I picked up the doggy-bags from her. Although our short conversations never got farther than how cold New York was being even though it was April or when I have days off of school, they were some of the highlights of my day as I experienced just how kind a complete stranger can be to a high school student who comes to get doggy-bags from her every week or so. Not only was it rewarding to see how other people live their lives while I was in school, it also gave me a time of peace in my busy high school life to just listen to music and walk around a beautiful New York City Park and a time to catch up with friends I hadn’t spoken to in a while who shared that Day 8 last period free with me, as well. I have a newfound appreciation for the park I grew up in as a child now, as I now understand that it is not just a place for me and my friends to play manhunt in first grade, but a place where a community of New Yorkers come every day to enjoy a break from the craziness of their day-to-day lives.

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