A volunteering story by: Jessica smith

Brooke attended Liberty High School all four years, and truly had a passion for caring for the special needs kids there. She spent a lot of her time volunteering to help them out in several different ways. Brooke donated many hours on all days of the week to help out the special needs kids. Her job entailed a lot of hard work. She had to help transport the special needs kids from place to place a lot of the time. Whether it be helping guide them while walking, or pushing their wheelchair, Brooke was there to help. Also, donating time at school lunches or weekends was a huge job too. During lunches and even some class periods off, Brooke went to the special need’s classroom and did various activities with them. Sometimes her task was to just talk and get to know them on a personal level. Other times it was to actually teach them things, and get their brains working. Brooke also helped out in preparing and running the special Olympics program. “One of my favorite things to do is to let them take part in the special Olympics. It helps them feel that they are capable of anything, and are no different than me or anyone else,” Brooke said. Although most of these tasks took up a lot of her time, she truly enjoyed doing it so much that it didn’t even feel like a job. As a volunteer she enjoyed her role to a great extent because she loved it so much.

The Inspiration

Brooke was truly inspired, by her self. Her motivation came solely from herself because she knew, since she was really young, that this was what she was supposed to be doing. She has always had such a great passion and love for children with special needs. Her care for them is so immense she felt she really wanted to make a difference in their lives. She knew she was capable of doing so. When Brooke was younger she got a card from a special needs kid that said “you mean lots to me.” Brooke said, “I always knew my calling was to be something that helped the handicapped/special needs people in any way possible, but that card alone, sealed the deal for me. After reading that one sentence, I knew I made a difference in his life, and could continue to do it to many more.” Since she was little, special needs kids have had a special place in her heart so it was obvious that any type of community service she was going to do, was going to have to do with them. Brooke has ultimately motivated herself to volunteer because she loves it so much. It became such a norm to spend time with them that they became her true friends rather than just kids she has to or wants to take care of. Brooke gave a big portion of her life to donating her time to them, and that is beautiful. She actually went on to get a job there because of the amount of inspiration she gained from donating time there.

The Aha! moment…

Brooke learned a great amount of things from this community service experience. First of all, she learned that helping the special needs route is really where she is supposed to be. With all of her hard work with them, it’s obvious that she is able to not only handle it, but also enjoy it. She also learned that although it many times may not be an easy task to accomplish, this type of volunteer work definitely has the potential to be the most impactful. Brooke said, “I learned that one sentence can easily persuade your feelings on a certain topic. One of the students telling me I meant a lot to them was one of the main reasons I knew I was in the right place.” This is showing that she learned how much of an impact one individual has potential to make on someone. Also, Brooke learned to have a great amount of patience while working with them. Although not all of them misbehave all of the time, a big part of them do. She had to learn to manage and control them and herself while being professional. Brooke definitely learned a lot of amazing life skills while working with the various different personality types.

To summarize it in three words…

  • Inspiring, touching, dedication

Why should you do this

She definitely recommends volunteer work. Brooke says that,” when I am doing community service I seriously do not feel like I am completing any type of job or task. It truly feels like I am doing something for myself because of how great it makes me feel.” This proves that Brooke really feels strongly about other people trying it out. The outcome and rewards people get emotionally are so amazing, she wants everyone to be able to experience it.

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