November 7, 2009
As a Jewish teenager growing up in New York City, there are few opportunities to do physical community service. Sure, i've spent hours at nursing homes and tutoring centers, but I wanted to do something that would use my physical strength and energy to help people, after all, i'm young and willing to help. I signed up because I wasn't in the mood to sit and chat with someone, I wanted to work. When I arrived in Tucson, Arizona with the 20 other people on my program, I really got the best of both worlds. We worked at a transitional housing shelter for homeless veterans. Our physical labor involved fixing up living quarters and storage sheds for the veterans. We worked with the veterans, and the work was like occupational therapy for the veterans. While we were there, we got one of the veterans to go to college, another in touch with his family, and a third moved into his own apartment. It was a life changing experience to do the work and watch these veterans get back on their feet. I am normally not the type of person who writes a lot about anything, but even three months after it was over, I am still talking about it. I would recommend this program to anyone who is physically capable of manual labor.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
truly amazing. They inspired me to continue working even when I was tired. I love all the people with whom i went on ajss.
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MY ROLE:Volunteer & I worked on putting in new ceilings, floors, and walls at a transitional housing shelter for homeless veterans.