In October, I went on a father-daughter mission trip to New Orleans with my family’s church. In New Orleans, we did service projects at St. Michaels, a school for kids with autism and down syndrome. This year we attended classes, reorganized the school’s garden and sorted beads with the kids. In addition, we went to a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in New Orleans. We organized bags of food which we handed out people living underneath bridges. All in all, it was great to see the kids again as it was my third year on the trip and it was great to know that we made an impact in the three days of the trip.
A few weeks ago, the ninth grade had the pleasure of participating in the YPI project. Although my group did not make it to the finals, we we still got to watch our classmates present their charities. Listening to the 10 groups, I realized that I did not want the money to go to one single charity. I had become so enthralled in each presentation that I thought that each charity deserved the 5000 dollars. At the end of the day, I felt more involved in the New York community having learned about all different types of charities my classmates were involved in. I felt a strong desire to improve my community and give to those who are less fortunate. Although only one group could win the 5000 dollars, I felt like it didn’t matter which group would win because in the end people in need would receive the help that they needed.
For the 9th grade YPI service project, my group decided to work with the Coalition for the Homeless. When we visited the Coalition, we were welcomed with kindness and were impressed by their many programs. We learned that not only did they help homeless people directly by providing them with shelter and food, they sought to end homelessness by attacking changing the laws of NYC to accommodate homeless people better. I grew much more enthusiastic about helping the Coaltition as our visit went on and was touched by the stories they told us about helping their clients. Now when I see homeless people on the streets, I try not to ignore them and give them any spare change I have. Working with the coalition really changed my perspective on homeless people.