Saturday, January 19, 2013

Other Service Opportunities!

Now that our lovely and relaxing break is over, I have a newfound sense of energy in regards to ASB. It's not that I wasn't excited before break, but I was mentally and physically exhausted from the semester. Now, I am refreshed and ready to fundraise even more money, make even more of a difference, and totally prepare myself for this life-changing journey we are about to embark on.

Part of preparing ourselves for a trip like this can include going on other service trips that can be used as means for ASB bonding. It can also truly enlighten each and every one of us on various matters. As an RA, I am lucky enough to do some different kinds of community service. Yesterday, I participated in a volunteer program with St. Patrick's Manor in Framingham. St. Patrick's is a hidden gem in my opinion, and truly proves that not all nursing facilities are negative places filled with substandard care and suspicious practices. Ten RA's, myself included, spent the day there where we sang with the residents, wheeled them to and from their rooms, and just got to know who they are as human beings. It was truly an enlightening and humbling experience. We also interacted with residents who duffer from dementia; they know who they are and are able to recall specific experiences and life events, but the order of these events is jumbled up and is often times confusing. Our interactions with these residents were truly moving to the point where we all vowed to return to this place as soon as possible.

The point I'm trying to make here is that as a group we can truly make a difference. We are obviously going to be doing some vital service work in Biloxi and for that, I am eternally grateful. However, service work isn't just saving someone or something when disaster strikes. Service is also holding out a helpful hand and letting someone know that you're there for them and that they are important too. Tori suggested that maybe we can go to St. Patrick's Manor for a group bonding session, and that really struck a cord (in a good way!) with me. It made me realize that in order to prepare for this trip, we should take part in service opportunities around the area. We may not realize it, but Framingham and the metrowest area needs assistance too.

St. Patrick's Manor is only one place in an area of ample opportunity where we can meet up, volunteer, get to know each other better, and truly make our ASB experience even more special. Now that we have the energy to do so after a refreshing month off from school, I say we go for it and explore our options!

-Kevin Long
Class of 2014

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