Class Offers Service Learning Journey Essay

Class Offers Service Learning Journey Essay

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When I first learned that this class offers service learning, I was excited about the opportunity. Yet I was a little hesitant about going for a position at first, since my last volunteer experience was a while ago, and I was a bit uncertain about stepping out of my comfort zone. Last year I found myself mostly hanging out with friends and staying in the university district. At the beginning of the quarter, I thought to myself, a little bit of a challenge and adventure would not be bad. So I decided to apply to be a diner server at Hammond House, an emergency shelter for women. My duties include setting up the tables, serving dinner, and cleaning up afterward. In addition, it is encouraged that I sit with the women at the shelter to eat and play games with them afterwards.
My service-learning journey begins with an orientation at the Compass Housing Alliance main office. The volunteer specialist gave a quick introduction of the organization. She also provided other helpful information and answered my questions, such as how to get to the site, and the rules to follow while working. Compass Housing Alliance is a non-profit organization that provides housing, shelter, and other services to people who experience homelessness in the Seattle and Puget Sound area. The site I work at, which is Hammond House, is one of the twenty-three locations Compass Housing Alliance has that provides shelter and meals for women who are homeless or in poverty. At Hammond House, women also have access to case management and support services.
October 20th was my first day on site. I took bus 71 and arrived at Downtown. The location was easy to find: seeing paintings on the inside wall, the welcoming atmosphere made me realize perhaps this is the place. ...


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... clients to sit down as she spotted my tiredness did I move to the dinning area. The same lady also helped me with cleaning up. One of the most precious gifts I have received so far from volunteering at the site is the warmth I receive. The greetings from the women almost caught me by surprise. It feels heartwarming when my action is reciprocated even though I am only doing a small thing. While I did not expect feedback and conversations, a few ladies started talking to me naturally, and I enjoyed the conversations we had, even when most of the time I simply listened. Even as they experience such difficult situations, the optimism inspires me. This doesn’t mean that I think homeless and poverty are light-hearted issues. When I left the premise, my heart was filled with joy. As I finish the first week of service learning, I look forward the days that are yet to come.

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