This service day was the best service day I have ever had at Friends. Not only was it fun, but I felt as though I was making an impact. When I was packing the various meat at the Food Bank, and simultaneously learning about how this food I was packing was going to help people, I knew it would be the most impactful service day yet. Traveling far away and helping out a small community that doesn’t always affect me is a nice for Service, and sometimes better than helping the local community, but this service day I knew I was helping the local community, and I thought that was unique. It was an experience where I felt like I was helping fellow New Yorkers, people who I shared this great city with. That was not the only reason it felt like the best Service day. I also enjoyed the aspect of helping people directly, rather than helping the environment. I think the environment is important, but the impact that I felt when I knew I was packing somebody’s dinner was greater than the impact I feel cleaning up a river or park.
So this past summer I had the opportunity to have an amazing experience, in China. I, and a bunch of other participants in the ICEP program were able to travel to three cities in China. Over the course of a month, we had the opportunity to teach over 200 kids some basic English. My favorite kid, was Joe. Joe was the bomb. He was a super active guy. He was like 7 and all he wanted to do was learn English and be with us. In the first week in china, we were pretty tired. We slept on the bus to and from the various schools. Joe, who rode the bus with us, would wake us up and say “play games?”. All he would say. He was super good at a ton of games though. His favorite being “Ninja”. I spent a ton of hours playing games and teaching joe english. Watching his vocabulary grow. He was a good kid. Being 7-8, he didn’t have any contact information. I haven’t seen or heard Joe since I saw him at the train station. But, I still remember Joe. Fantastic kid.