Olivia Curley

How am I growing in my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses?

Selfless Service, Inquiry and Active Community Involvement

Key Club has given me numerous extracurricular opportunities in my senior year to practice volunteer services, while promoting caring and depth as the club’s core values. As treasurer, I have devoted my time and skills to the events, most of which raised money for the Pediatric Trauma Prevention organization. Through my involvement, I have become aware of my commitment to selfless service, inquiry, and active community involvement as a club leader. I find myself more willing to spend my weekends volunteering and spending nights inputting membership information as I have matured because my understanding of the importance of duty and service has expanded with my increased club involvement. I am happy to donate my time for events because I look at my service as a whole and realize that I am given certain talents and skills to benefit others, rather than just do what benefits me. I am more thoughtful and analytical in approaching projects to benefit both the club and community realistically and effectively as I have become involved in planning and carrying out projects and events; these projects included the 626 Night Market, the Region 13 Picnic fundraiser (in which Charter Oak sold homemade baked goods), weeding Cal State Fullerton plants that were used in the Rose Bowl Parade float decorations, District Convention Meetings (DCMs), the Buckboard Parade, and various projects that intermix fundraising for international service organizations. These events allowed me to interact with new people as we helped local communities and schools run festivals, parades, and service projects. Key Club fostered a friendly and selfless atmosphere that allowed me to grow as an individual.

Vacation Bible School and Rose Parade Floats

My participation at my church’s annual week-long Vacation Bible School and volunteer work on the Rose Bowl Parade floats through Key Club have significantly expanded my creative strengths. As games director during VBS I learned how to evoke creativity to the young children (ranging in ages 2-12) unconventionally. I became aware of my ability to think of the top of my head to entertain the kids during the activities in equal measures of having preparation for the events. I believe creativity is not limited to literal artwork, but is also evoked when an individual thinks about how to manifest any idea into an action, especially when it is presented to others. In planning games, I strengthened my creativity by finding new and fun ways to entertain the kids while keeping them healthy and active. Some of my games included water balloon quidditch, survival freeze tag, relay red light- green light, etc. In decorating the floats, I learned that I can take direction well in group work and have the skill of precision. I also became aware of my attention to detail in completing a project. I alternated jobs between cutting microscopic pieces off of colorful flowers to gluing beans in rows fearfully at the top of the float on scaffolding. I followed the commands of the instructors and found how to have fun through the tedious work. My hours of work ultimately resulted in what seemed insignificant with only a few rows of beans laboriously glued, but I took pride in adding my small part to the whole. These two projects also taught me my weakness in maintaining patience. The little kids were energized and hard to contain, while the gluing of beans and cutting of flowers were tedious. I became aware that for me patience requires a lot of work, but is necessary to be respectful and responsible in my assigned and volunteered tasks.

Volleyball

My involvement on varsity volleyball throughout the summer and fall seasons has expanded my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses both on and off of the court. On a surface level my athleticism has greatly developed in earning Best Offensive Player, but the countless practices, games, and tournaments have demonstrated to myself my determination, drive, and ability to work well with others. As an individual I learned how to physically and mentally push myself in order to persevere through all pains and insecurities. I was able to end the season healthy and strong through the conditioning that I never thought I was capable of achieving; this included mile runs, ab workouts, agility drills, etc., which was a nightmare for a naturally non-athletic person like me at the start of season. With volleyball, I am also more conscious of my leadership abilities amongst my teammates through my sportsmanship in being nominated for the CIF Spirit of Sport Award, which has been further translated to my peers at school. As a returning varsity player in my senior year, I was pushed into a leader role but gained the skills to proudly and honestly fit the role. Upon Senior Night I felt a bong of mutual respect and confidence among my coaches, teammates, and fantastic supporters from Oak Squad. Yet, with the glories came weaknesses. Through volleyball I have learned that victory is not always an realistic option. While it was difficult to experience so many loses during our season, I became aware that an obsession with perfection and superficially wins can corrupt a team’s dynamic and lower the team’s confidence.

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What challenges have I been through?

Volleyball

The Charter Volleyball team has unfortunately been plagued with league loses because we typically competed against trained and skilled teams above our playing level. It was difficult to maintain the team’s spirit, even my own spirits and optimism as a player, when we went into a game expecting to lose. For example, at one of our Saturday tournaments we lost each match without even getting to double digits because we got in our own heads and accepted loss. However, our team rose above this disadvantage and learned to play with heart and dedication, so that when we lost we still left the game with our respect and sportsmanship intact. I remember in an away game against South Hills when we won our first match of the season our opponents were dumbfounded by our joy because we failed to win the entire game (1-4 loss). But our happiness came within from our own personal growth; we had never been able to even compete against the other teams in our league let alone win a single match, but at that moment we had grown into players capable of putting up a fight. We no longer let the other teams beat us easily and learned to truly become equal competitors by the end of the season- so much so that other coaches would complement our improvement. Charter Oak’s 2013 varsity volleyball team may not have become league or CIF champions with our many defeats, but we became our own victors.

In what ways have I started new challenges?

Taking Risks

My service involvement has prompted me to start new challenges by making me more willing to take risks with my service. I never volunteered for events that involved thousands of people and demanded directness as a worker because I am an introvert to the core. I always opted out of events that would force me to handle large public events, but I have learned to challenge myself to more vigorous and dynamic involvement. For instance, at Key Club’s DCMs I pushed myself to become more active in participation among strangers and large groups. In the summer I worked line control at the annually 626 Night Market that was attended by thousands of people; I was required to address questions and manage the long lines around food booths. Later in the month, I even agreed to walk in the Rowland Height’s Buckboard Parade as a banner barer for the Red Hat Society, when I had originally volunteered for only managing the parade line-ups. I proudly marched in front of hundreds of people representing the Red Hat Society and gained valuable words of wisdom from the elderly women in the group. I have learned through key Club to live in the moment and take more opportunities, even if they push my comfort-zone.

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In what ways have I developed new skills?

Leadership Outside of Academics

Thus far in my senior year, I have developed my communication, financial, and leadership skills outside of my academic environment. I did not feel burdened through my service, but had fun and shared in the opportunity of helping others because I developed a deeper appreciation for caring for the less fortunate. To help others, I have learned to communicate with teachers, fellow officers, and club members in handling financial obligations to achieve events and enforce responsibility; this is a huge step from my freshman year when I was a mere bystander to the club’s activities.

Open-Mindedness

With my volunteer services at church and in certain Key Club events I have developed the skill of open-mindedness. I was placed in new environments around people of different economic and social backgrounds that contrasted my norms, but I always felt welcomed and joyful. I learned that every person should be given care and support without self-righteousness or shaming, but rightful and whole-hearted service. I learned to open up and communicate with the underprivileged families to truly understand their struggle and gratitude.

Being Enthusiastic

The challenge I initiated (and continue to face daily) as the Games Director during VBS was my tendency to revert back to being an introvert. I am a naturally quiet and “non-bubbly” person- not to be mistaken for rude or disconnected- and this activity forced me out of my comfort zone. By being surrounded by loud, hyper, and demanding kids I had to find a way to match their energy as to not bore them during my session. I struggled with being outgoing and colorful to the kids, that I initially feared as judgmental critics in spite of their age and positivity. I was also intimidated with this role because I was one of the few teenagers to hold a leadership position amongst adults experienced with both teaching and VBS- I was forced to shift from student to teacher in a few short years, and placed pressure on myself over my level of success. However, I developed friendships with the kids as the week progressed and learned how to evoke enthusiasm and confidence in my leadership and direction. Each kid brought a new personality to the mix and allowed me to feel comfortable on my role. I was weary to take the position initially, but by the end of VBS my heart was warmed by the kid’s vibrant energy and innocence. Despite my shyness, I felt I made a difference with the kids and even earned the title of “favorite teacher” from an equally shy second grader. Taking on games became a welcomed challenge and continues to inspire me to go out of my comfort zone.

Volleyball

Through volleyball I have truly learned the value of supportive and positive leadership; as well as learned the importance and necessity of time-management. These skills were gained in the months our team spent sweating together side by side with a common goal because we knew positive teamwork was essential for communications on the court. Volleyball gave me the chance to be a leader in the simple yet influential ways, such as supporting and cheering for my teammates and promoting inclusiveness, respect, and commitment. As a varsity athlete and IB Diploma candidate, my schedule during season became hectically packed and stressful. I learned to balance my commitments to the team and to my academics to ensure that I would leave season as a well-rounded individual. Procrastination is my arch nemesis that I have yet to conquer, but my involvement in volleyball has helped me to begin to suppress its presence. I was able to set aside time for homework and studying throughout days with long games and practices; I was proud to have excelled in both fields by learning balance at the end of the busy season. Volleyball has prepared me to be a well-rounded individual in my home, school, and community.

In what ways have I shown perseverance and commitment to my activities?

Volleyball

Being a varsity athlete involves extreme perseverance and commitment on a personal and group level. I had to dedicate my time and efforts on a daily basis to improve my skills and to create a better team chemistry. Of course this does not come easy; our team was dedicated to either waking up at the crack of dawn to drive to day-long tournaments or to condition for Hell Week in the wet, cold grass, or staying in a hot, stuffy gym for late hours to squeeze in extra practice or to fight on in the last minutes of a fierce game. On specifically grueling tournament was spent in a crowded gym for four games back to back in the early morning, days like these took a deep physical and mental toll of exhaustion. I learned to devote myself to my coaches and fellow teammates because I learned the value of responsibilities and hard-work. My commitment to volleyball was rewarding, despite the sacrifices and typical complaints, because it gave me the opportunity to become a part of something more than a mere sport, but rather something I could put my whole heart into; I gained new friends, new confidence, and was placed in a demanding environment that tested my character.

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

Sharing Our Humanity

The annual Sharing Our Humanity Dinner was a collaborative effort that I was involved in with my fellow IB students and the COHS staff to achieve awareness for the need of drinking water. I assisted in the planning and organizing of the dinner beginning in the first months of school; as a group, the club voted on having clean water be the focus of our fundraising out of a variety of equally great options. On the day of the big dinner, I helped decorate the school gym and served as “Kitchen Head”. While, the preparation for the event was often hectic, the dinner was a great success through the club’s group effort. In the kitchen I helped to prepare and serve the pasta and salad, which was collectively cooked or donated by each member. From this event I learned that people must take ownership of their responsibilities and joyfully participate to accomplish the set goals. As well, cooperation and patience is essential for tasks to run smoothly because our collective effort was for a greater good and did not allow for arrogance or stubbornness.

Vacation Bible School

VBS required immense teamwork amongst the volunteers and teachers to ensure that the program would run efficiently and foster a safe, inclusive, and open-minded environment for the children. I ran the games session, but would offer my services to the crafts, snacks, music, and classroom sessions. I relied on a group of volunteers to help me design and set up obstacles courses and equipment for each activity, such as water balloons, cones, toys, etc. VBS was run smoothly through the dedication and unique thought of each member involved; it truly became a group effort of volunteers ranging from high school students to senior citizens. The float decorations for the Rose Bowl Parade demanded time-consuming group participation in completing a grand piece of art to be globally displayed. The warehouse I worked in held hundreds of volunteers from different high schools and organizations. We all worked swiftly and cooperatively to complete each task; alongside we were five other Key Clubbers gluing beans to a wall in crouched positions without complaint, and in a large, friendly circle cutting husks and flowers. The Rose Bowl Parade is largely collaborative, and it was a wonderful experience to be a part of the float production at a hands-on and up-close level. The final product was proudly presented on New Year’s Day in the parade with my little patch of beans helping to complete the artistic wonder.

Volleyball

As volleyball is a team sport, I worked collaboratively with my teammates and coaches at each practice, fundraising event, and competition. We spent practically every day together for months in preseason to fall season to the point that we became our own “little family” of all grade levels and backgrounds. From car washes, team bonding, reefing games (scoreboard and lines), to actually playing other teams we learned to depend and trust each other. The bond between us as players was essential to our success because we had to learn to play together in unity and anticipate each other’s movement to efficiently pass, serve, and hit. It was always a glorious moment when I got a kill if Lauren or Jasmine set the ball perfectly after one of our defensive players dug the ball from the other team because our plays blended into one single and balanced action. I developed a strong relationship with Coach Jessica and Coach Freeman, the father- daughter duo, in order to strengthen my skills and techniques. They broke me out of my quiet and timid shell on the court so that I could become a stronger presence to my teammates and competitors. In one drill, Coach Jessica made my scream as loud as I could when I called the ball to make me less insecure amongst the team. I truly learned communication and cooperation through sweat and pain to laughs and glory amongst a magnificent group of athletes that inspired and supported me daily

In what ways have I been engaged in issues with global importance?

Sharing Our Humanity

The purpose of Sharing Our Humanity is to both raise funds and awareness for countries at home and abroad in poverty or turmoil. This year we focused on the theme of clean drinking water. In our society, we are blessed with constant access to drinking water, but there are many families on a global level that face a lack of water to survive. At the dinner, I furthered my understanding on how depleting water supplies are affecting me on a local level through the guest speaker; I found the new conservation measures being innovated to recycle water through scientific and social methods to be very interesting and progressive. We often take for granted the simple, everyday things that many people fight for in disadvantaged situations. I have learned that even small contributions, such as the funds we raised through the dinner, are important to the principle of helping your fellow man through compassion and selfless responsibility.

Key Club

Key Club has aided me in the process of becoming a well-rounded and knowledgeable citizen- not only to my home, school, and community, but on international level; this is in the aim of alleviating the struggles of other people of all races, genders, and economic classes. Locally, Key Club collects pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House to raise funds for living and medical costs of a family with an ill child, of which I donate to. Additionally, I have corroborated with my fellow officers to initiate events and fundraisers that will benefit global service and relief programs. Key Club engages in raising money for the organization UNICEF during October to provide funds for families in third world countries in improving education, health care, improved nutrition, and clean water (as well, a goal I am involved in for the IB club Sharing Our Humanity). I have developed as a balanced thinker by being a globally engaged member/ leader of Key Club.

Key Club and Youth Group

Through Key Club and my church’s Youth Group I have become actively involved in charity work. For example, during the holiday seasons I went with Key Club to volunteer at Isaiah’s Rock two-day charity event for Thanksgiving. The first day I spent packaging meals to donate to underprivileged families. The following day I spent handing out and helping the families transport their meals. The food distributed was everyday items that are often taken for granted in a middle-class dominated and wasteful country. I was heart breaking to see the long lines of families in poverty desperate for food and clothing during a time that should be spent in security and happiness. Hunger and poverty are a major issue troubling our world, but we can face this rising problem with compassion and an easy donation of time and supplies. I helped distribute and carry food for one woman and her three young children; she did not speak any English, but she communicated her gratitude without words. She was doing all she could to provide for her family with thoughtfulness, and she made me proud to be contributing to such a selfless charity event. Another man brought his two daughters and told me that he was beyond happy that he could provide a real meal for his girls on Thanksgiving. A woman from a homeless shelter helped me carry food as a volunteer because she wanted to help as a way of saying thank you to the organization; she was inspiring because she displayed that it does not take wealth to give back and help others, it only requires compassion. What was a simple volunteer job for me and the other Key Clubbers, allowed poor families to tend to their needs without fear in a time of reflection and service.

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What are the ethical or moral implications of what I’m doing and learning?

Key Club

Key Club has developed my cultural awareness and adherence to both caring and open-mindedness. Both the 626 Night Market and Buckboard Parade were festivals that celebrated the Asian culture and customs. The night market brought traditional Asian cuisine and the parade was a celebration of Asian traditions through live performances, in addition to the community gathering. My participation at such events allows me to embrace other cultures and developed my moral implications of respect. Each individual comes from a unique ethnicity and should be allowed to maintain their familial and social customs with pride. Key Club allows me to contribute my skills and efforts in a diverse and open atmosphere where all peoples are revered and beliefs tolerated, such ethical expectations I have learned to personally require and honor.

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Becoming Involved to Make a Change

Through my charity volunteer work with Key Club I have learned that the world can be improved and service expanded if caring is placed over material reward. It is easy and beneficial to devote oneself to helping others that struggle to find their footing in society economically and socially. However, giving back and helping others is not limited to holiday charity events. I learned that I can regularly help my community through my dedication to my church volunteer work. At my church I participate in ushering and preparing communion on a monthly basis. I distribute information to guests and manage the procession during offering and communion. While this volunteer work is limited to my church, it taught me the value of selflessness and active participation beyond religious work. Rather than just sit and do nothing, I am working to become involved as to make a positive change. I welcome strangers and help run the service at my church because it is important morally to extend owns skills in service to help and befriend others. I want to give my time and skills to those in need rather than keep them closed off to others out of laziness or discomfort.

Service 5/31/2013

As a member of Key Club, I used my volunteer services to help at both the Remembrance Walk in February and at Club Carnival in April. The Remembrance Walk was an emotional day for people to join as a community and walk in memory of their loved ones who have unfortunately passed away. I was able to contribute by setting up before the walk began, and cleaning up when the event reached its end. I set up boards with posters along the track and cut paper hearts so that individuals participating in the event could write down the name of their lost one in tribute. The walk was immensely inspiring to me in showing how bonds of family and friendships can fully exist in spite of separation by death. Past loved ones are able to live on in our memories and are never forgotten, which promotes hope and closure for those suffering a loss. In addition to the walk, I worked the Key Club booth during Club Carnival. Our booth sold hotdogs to raise money for the club while students danced, played games, and enjoyed a delicious variety of food. It was great to see how the efforts of COHS students do not go unheeded by the teachers and staff. In raising our state test scores as a school, COHS has displayed that progress is fully possible for all students of every background. Club Carnival was thus a great way to celebrate and award such progress, while equally encouraging the continuation of improvement as a united whole.

Service 5/31/2013

From January to May, I have continued to serve as an active volunteer for my church, St. John Lutheran Church. From January to May, I and three other Youth Group members have assisted as ushers for the service on the third Sunday of each month. As described previously, we act as monitors for the service to provide structure, while taking offering and leading the communion procession to the altar. It may appear as a simple task, but we hold our obligations with serious responsibility. Routinely volunteering has shown me how when a job is set forth, every person involved, with either a small or large role, is required for positively completing the task at hand. As well, I recently was involved in our church’s “fashion show”/potluck, in which I was appointed as one of three judges. The “fashion show” involved members wearing outfits completely purchased from local thrift stores, while playfully strutting and posing on the “runway”; the person with the most inexpensive outfit, yet the most stylish, was selected as the winner. The purpose of the fashion show was to spread awareness on poverty and to promote contentment, as opposed to an obsession of materialism. It taught me how wealth and labels truly do not create a content life, but leave individuals wanting more; instead, we should aim for gratified and modest lifestyles, while handling our finances responsibly. My experiences in volunteering at church events and services have helped my worldly viewpoints mature and I plan on joyfully giving back to my church in every way I possibly am able to.

Service 5/31/2013

During the months of March and April, I volunteered at the COHS home track meets against Northview, Chino Hills, and Claremont. I, along with other Charter Oak students, worked as part of the hurdle team for Mrs. Archer. Our duty was to set up the hurdles to ensure that they were all at the correct heights and positions on the track. This was done to prepare the athletes and allow for the event to run efficiently. Being directly involved in the atmosphere filled with competition, athleticism, and fan enthusiasm instilled in me great school spirit and pride. I enjoyed being able to see my fellow students run their hearts out with strong determination because it showed me the strength of dedication and will power. Volunteering at the track meets taught me the value of COHS in building a sense of community by bringing students, families, and friends together to compete and/or cheer for Charger success.

Creative 1/20/2013

Over the summer I have used my creative abilities as a volunteer for my church’s annul week long Vacation Bible School. Each day every class, divided by age group, would rotate from going to four different activities: lessons, music, games and snacks, and my favorite, arts and crafts.  As a member of my youth group, I choose to offer my assistance in the art department. During the arts and crafts session, the kids would be given a fun art challenge to work on that coincided with each Bible lesson. I helped in setting up and cleaning up each session, which involved preparing and organizing the art supplies for each individual project. The kids would run to each table and immediately start asking for instructions to begin their activity. After they were told what to do, it was my job to help them complete each task- especially when it came to the preschool class of toddlers that tried to both eat the glue and draw over the other children. I loved working individually with any kid that needed my help. Each day involved a lot of running and rushing from class to class, but my time helping the elderly art teacher and assisting the little children was worth it. Seeing each kid smile when they finished their project after I guided their imaginative process was uplifting and made me proud to serve in such a lighthearted atmosphere.

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Action 1/20/2013

My participation on the 2012 Varsity volleyball team was extremely rewarding. The season involved ten league games and six league tournaments, both home and away, that have helped me personally grow as a volleyball player and as an individual. Despite our low win record, our team has improved on so many levels. We were able to demonstrate self-respect as well as respect for our competitors. I learned that it is not the number of wins that counts, but how were represent our school and how we present our sportsmanship. The long hours of exhausting practices and physically demanding games in addition to the tasks of refereeing allowed me to bond with my team and helped develop unique friendships. Every early morning and late night have taught me dedication and perseverance, while demonstrating the necessity of balancing academics and athletics. My commitment to the sport allowed me to be honored with the Most Improved award from my coaches and teammates and with the Sierra League All-Academic award. Our team was able to make Charter Oak proud with our dignity and display of teamwork. Volleyball helped strengthen our team physically and mentally and made me gratified to be a Charger.

Service 1/20/2013

As an active member of the Youth Group at my church, I have been able to offer my services to help in numerous church functions. Every third Sunday of the month I and three other youth group members volunteer to serve as ushers for the church service. We welcome each member and provide them with the service’s bulletin, while providing information for any guests. During the service, we take the offerings and monitor the communion line. Additionally, in the months of June and December, every Saturday I helped set up communion for the Sunday service with my mother and sister. We prepared the altar for the Lord’s Supper and made sure it was presentable and clean. I often would be in charge of filling the communion cups with wine and preparing the linens to cover the altar. Also, I volunteered my time during the holiday season to decorate our church and perform carols at the Christmas service. I helped adorn the large tree with ornaments and put up the wreaths throughout the church, I later helped take everything down after Epiphany. Along with the other preschool through high school members, I sang carols during the service to celebrate and bring the Christmas spirit. As a small, tight-knit church that I have attended since I was a baby, my volunteering as improved my relationships with the congregation and has strengthened my faith. I enjoy using my talents and time to make our church friendly and hospitable, while contributing my skills to help my church grow and function. I have learned that volunteering brings me closer to my beliefs and is internally and externally rewarding, as my church motto states, “Discipleship, not just membership”.

Creative 1/20/2013

During the school year I used my creative skills to offer assistance in extracurricular activities. For my volleyball team I volunteered to help make and put up decorations for Senior Night. I made posters, t-shirts, and headbands for the event and on the senior’s last home game I helped decorate the gym with balloons and streamers. Decorating the gym in charger colors taught me the significance of school pride. I also learned the power of team bonding by making the senior’s last home game something to remember.  As a member of Key Club I volunteered to help decorate floats for the Rose Parade on December 22 from 9:00am to 4:00pm. The job was very demanding, but was a rare and special opportunity. My assigned task was to apply crushed white rice to the float’s fencing with a partner using a brush for glue and a sponge to add the rice. The task was simple, but required precision and detailed work to make it look perfect. The job was extremely repetitive and uncomfortable by being forced to sit in awkward positions for multiple hours, but it was rewarding to see the final project on television when the Alhambra float drove down Pasadena on New Year’s Day. My work on the float taught me how every little detail, though seemingly small, makes the end product whole and how every person’s contribution is important.

Service 1/20/2013

On Halloween I volunteered at the Washington Elementary School Halloween Carnival as a Key Club community service opportunity. The teachers assigned me to help a parent make cotton candy. I prepared the bags and took the kids tickets to buy the cotton candy. I must say, it was one of the most popular booths at the whole carnival, and rarely had a small line. Out of all the flavors, the classic vanilla flavor (pink) always beat sour apple (green) and berry bubblegum (blue). I attempted to make a cotton candy at one point, but nearly broke the machine and I decided just to stick to bagging them instead. The crazy costumes of each kid brought back fond memories and their innocent excitement over the creation of something so simple was a joy to work for. I was happy to offer my time and help create a safe environment for little kids to enjoy their Halloween as superheroes and princesses, while providing them with the necessary amount of a sugar on such an occasion.

Service 1/20/2013

On the Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving I volunteered at the Pomona First Baptist Church’s “feeding the needs” outreach program as a member of Key Club. The initial step at the event was to separate the different types of donated clothing into sections form men, women, and children. I then was assigned to work the hygiene station with a partner when the families began to enter. At the hygiene table I handed out simple necessities such as shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, underwear, etc. My desire to help the impoverished families grew when I saw how excited many of the children became just for receiving a comb or a new pair of socks. After the families gathered all they needed, we headed into the dining hall. In a quick and orderly fashion, the volunteers handed out the thanksgiving meals to all the people in need. We then helped clean up and pack away all the clothing to be given to other shelters. The whole day left a remarkable impact on my outlook towards the homeless. Each individual was grateful and appreciative for what they had been given, even the items we as society take for granted. I learned to be thankful for all the opportunities I have been given and hope to continue helping those less fortunate than myself. I was taught that it is up to the community to help those in poverty and I saw firsthand the impact of a strong helping hand.

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