Seeing the residents’ faces light up at the sight of our youth and presence is probably, if not definitely, one of the best feelings around. Every Monday, I make the 20 minute drive from my high school to Homestead along with the other volunteers on that day. Our team leader has no problem interacting right alongside us with just as much, if not more enthusiasm than most of us volunteers. The residents are some of the most interesting people that you will ever meet. All of the residents have stories from their past that they don’t mind sharing with you; one of my personal favorites came from a Veterans Day question session in which I met a man that was part of a tank squadron in the Battle of the Bulge. Mind you, this was one of the bloodiest battles of WWII, nothing to take too lightly. After we were finished, we talked to his daughter outside of the room who told us that he doesn’t usually talk about his time in the Tank Corp, which just goes to show the effect that youth volunteers can have on these seniors and how they feel they can open up to us.
The team leaders are undoubtedly some of the most enthusiastic and outgoing people that I have met, ever. They never fail to put a smile on my face or lighten up the mood whether that be by a casual discussion about how the day has been so far or by some random questions to get a discussion going. All of the team leaders that I have interacted with have seemed to take an actual interest in me and my peers at all levels, something you don’t get everywhere.
-Nick Goss, 17