Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteering for the Poor

Name: Isaac Henry Aronen
From: Campbell, California
Grade: 12th
School: Westmont High School
Votes: 0

Whether I was serving food to homeless people in San Francisco, handing out
kits with numerous useful items to homeless people throughout the Bay
Area, or building houses for people in Mexico, I have always been
heavily involved with helping people in poverty. The hours and weeks
per year vary, depending on the opportunities to serve, but I always
spend at least a week building houses in Mexico for people who live
in homes made of scrap wood and trash. Through my church, We assemble
homeless kits, which contain useful items, and there are countless
times a year that I give these out to homeless people I happen to
see. In Mexico, my responsibilities were mixing concrete by shovel,
lifting 100 lb bags of cement, hammering, setting up wire, and other
things needed to build a house. When we were not working, we were
interacting with the children living in the neighborhood, giving them
food, sports equipment, and passed time with them by playing games.
The biggest challenge I encountered was wrapping my mind around the
fact that so many people had to live in that circumstance every day.
The most satisfying part of the mission trips in Mexico was the
interactions with the children. They were so happy with anything we
did and anything we gave them, and it felt like we were making a
difference to their lives. I learned that I shouldn’t take anything
from where I live for granted. I have running water, electricity, and
enough food for the foreseeable future, while people in 3rd world
countries usually don’t have any of that. Looking towards the
future, I plan on going on many more of these trips in the future,
and I plan on helping homeless people at home too. I want to help
people get out of bad situations, both long term and short term. I
know feeding someone a meal won’t make them stop being homeless, but
at least for one day they won’t go hungry. I know that there are
countless people who need homes, and I can’t provide homes for
every person who needs one, but at least for one family, I gave them
something they will remember forever. In the future, when I am all
grown up, I believe my volunteering will have made a difference
because it made me see the world in a different light, and made me
more appreciative of the life I have. It will also still make a
difference to the people i helped, because as a result of my
volunteering, they will have a home for them and their families for
many generations.

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