HM Volunteer 2017-2018. Serving with Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services.
Hello my name is Savanna, I’m a HM Volunteer at Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services and I primarily work with the Single Mother’s Program. I help to navigate any healthcare or education needs, as well as assisting in case management. I’m currently halfway through my service year and I think it’s safe to say it has already changed me as a person. Throughout these months I have seen myself become more patient, understanding and empathetic. Every day I get the opportunity to help serve the strongest people I have ever met, their strength amazes me and their resilience and positivity gives me a daily dose of gratitude for what I do.
Although I could tell a million stories, experiences or even just the many emotions I feel from my time here, I have one story that really brings a smile to my face. Around the first Tuesday of every month we (who work with the single mothers) try to plan a field trip. Every trip we have taken have been so much fun, but the trip to the art museum is the one I will always remember.
The trip started out pretty normal just viewing art, talking and using the interactive art stations. It wasn’t until we reached the escalator to go downstairs that caused a lot of excitement. It had never occurred to any of us who had used an escalator a million times that there were some people in this world who could be in 30’s or 40’s from all around the world and never needed to use one. This caused some mixed emotions in our group, between one woman being so excited not only riding it down, but riding it up and down multiple times (almost like a ride at the fair) with the biggest smile on her face. This also caused some confusion and fright to a woman who although was giggling the entire time, could not get herself to step on it without immediately taking her foot back off before it was to move her down the stairs. During this twenty minute process, there was a lot of laughter, sweat and convincing. (When I say convincing, it’s really us speaking English and using a lot of body language to show that there is nothing to be scared of and them replying with “oh no English.”) What we didn’t realize throughout the whole process was that there was an audience, it turns out that under the escalators was a food court where maybe about fifty people were busy eating their lunch. When the woman who was so unsure of this ride down, finally stepped on the stairs and rode it to the bottom, she was greeted at the bottom with a loud round of applause from the people who we thought were just busy eating their lunch. It turns out they had witnessed the whole thing and were so happy to see her face her fears of this ride on the escalator. This event was all we could talk about after we had left, laughing the entire ride back to the office. We had no idea that out of all of the beautiful art inside the museum, the escalators would have been the main attraction!