Time is such a sneaky thing. The closing of the summer marks my fourth year with Easter Seals Greater Houston. My name is Sofia Saavedra, age 19, and I’m entering my junior year at Fordham University in New York City. I began volunteering for Easter Seals with Camp Smiles in 2010. Originally as a “buddy” or volunteer for a camper. And this year I was lucky enough to be one of two interns organizing and overseeing camp alongside Betsy and Christine, ESGH Staff. I was so excited to be selected! We were responsible for all five weeks of Camp Buckaroo day camp offered in several different parts of town with 35 or so campers and at least the same amount of volunteers at each and we were responsible for Camp Smiles, our overnight camp at Camp For All – with about the same. Lots of children and lots of teen/college age volunteers!
Some things that I really like about being an Easter Seals Summer Camp intern do not allow me to associate what we do as a J.OB. I’ve learned that there is never a dull day while working with children. I really appreciate the individual traits of all of the friends I’ve made, and that this position really allows me to interact with so many great kids. I’ve learned so much about myself as a person; I’m passionate about seeing these “treasures” happy. While we encourage, we feel encouraged; when we guide, we feel pulled down the right path.
For these reasons and others, limitless rewards are gained by any Easter Seals volunteer…it’s not JUST something for your resume. And that’s such a nice surprise because you don’t expect to absorb SO much of the experience. You can be tested in certain ways that make you stronger, or you may share a new perspective that previously had not been considered. You learn whether or not you feel capable enough to continue. If you love it, then you’ll come back. And so many volunteers do – year after year. As well as the campers. All are touched and changed for the better.