I worked many Saturdays this year with 2nd and 3rd grade boys and girls who came to Steady Buckets to learn and to practice basketball skills. I helped the kids during shooting and basketball drills. The program was for some of the players the first time they ever touched a basketball and for others, they had been playing basketball since kindergarten. Every player seemed happy to be at the gym, and they knew the volunteers like me and the coaches like Coach Macky love basketball so much. I tried to make sure every player knew that he could grow up to be a high school player if he practiced enough and really had a passion for the sport. I think the kids liked my enthusiasm and my cheering each one on.
This year I helped make no-sew fleece blankets for undocumented minors being held in a residential facility while awaiting trial in immigration court. While making these blankets, we talked about the terrible conditions that the undocumented minors experience in the “residential facility.” They get one mesh-like blanket to sleep on, so we made them some fleece blankets to be a little bit more comfortable and warm. Some of the stories Claire told us were very upsetting and made me feel like I should be doing more for the cause. She told us that there was a little 7 year old girl there who was found at the border with no family. I’m happy I had the opportunity to help make these kids more comfortable.
Over the course of this year I have cooked several meals for the Friends Homeless Shelter. It is a very rewarding feeling to know that the service you are doing is helping others through providing a home cooked meal. It was also a positive experience because I felt proud to go to a school that serves as a home for over a dozen homeless people every night. It is eye-opening to see the school space transformed into a shelter at night and it is a great feeling to know that you are serving people who are so close to the Friends community. I really loved doing this and will definitely continue to volunteer with the Friends Shelter in the future.