For the 3rd summer, I volunteered with the Coalition for the Homeless. The organization provides housing and food to homeless individuals around NYC, because they believe that nobody should have to sleep on the streets or be hungry. I went on the Thursday night downtown food van from 7pm-10pm all around Manhattan, making 7 stops to give out food to homeless individuals. Some of the stops have over 100 people who come to get food. The experience was amazing because I knew I was making a direct difference in so many people’s lives.
This summer, I volunteered at el Fundación Escuela de Solidaridad (FES) in Granada, Spain, with a program called Global Works. FES is a community founded by a man from Spain who is determined to help his community, and Global Works is a camp program working closely with them in their Spain program. Everyone who lives there contributes to different work projects throughout the community, while also learning job skills that will help them upon departure from FES. FES supports them and lets them live in the community for free until they have the skills or income to support themselves. Their only living cost is the work that they do—work they’re happy to do; their hard work helps those who will come to FES after them.
The work we did was varied, but included working with the kids, teaching English, preparing meals and baking bread, gardening, painting some of their community rooms, and even creating a mosaic to go with all the other groups who have come to help them in the past.
This experience was very enlightening and very, very fun. The people living in FES were kind, helpful, and fun to be around. I learned a lot more conversational Spanish and I really began to understand both the culture in Spain and individuals’ experience. I would return there in a heartbeat.
This summer I spent a lot of time volunteering with two organizations, both of which I have volunteered with in past summers.
The first was the Delhi Blind Relief Association. At the BRA, I spent time making goods for their fundraising event, chatted with the blind students, and even attended their annual graduation ceremony for one class of students who were leaving the school. The experience was very fulfilling, especially getting to interact with the students, who were all very kind and willing to talk with us (even if my Hindi [the language they speak] isn’t perfect!) At the end of my time volunteering at the BRA, my sister Riya and I made a film about the BRA, and interviewed many of the students there. This was my 2nd summer volunteering at the BRA, and 3rd volunteering with blind students in Delhi (I previously volunteered with another blind school in Delhi).
The second organization I volunteered with, again for the 2nd summer, was the Coalition for the Homeless. The organization provides housing and food to homeless individuals around NYC, because no one should have to sleep on the streets or be hungry. Every Thursday night during the summer (when I was in NYC) I went out on a van from 7pm-10pm all around Manhattan, making 7 stops to give out food to homeless individuals. Some of the stops have over 100 people who come to get food. The experience was amazing because I knew I was making a difference in so many people’s lives.