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My Charity Day

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Chris Heron

Monday, September 9, 2019

My Charity Day

 

“The country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”  

— Theodore Roosevelt

 

Across the world millions of people need help socially, financially, economically and emotionally. I wasn’t aware just how much this to be the case until I met a group of teens at the “Special Children’s Home” in Gandhinagar. The visit to the home turned out to be both eye-opening and fun. The home is managed and supported by Gujarat State Network of People living with HIV/AIDS(GSNP+) along with the Gujarat Special Defence Department and some local donors. It is a nourishing centre for orphan children suffering from HIV/AIDS and has been functioning since 2009. The home caters for poor needy children, providing them with the best services possible to help them move out of depression and find their place in society.

By noon we reached a big crooked house surrounded by trees. The ground had swings, see-saws, and slides with benches scattered unevenly throughout. When I entered the home, some children were playing, some were bathing and the rest were walking around. Upon seeing us, the children encircled us, they had happy faces and warm energy. Each had a sparkle in their eyes and an infectious toothy smile.  I could find no faces asking for sympathy or reflecting the pain they were in or speaking of how unfair life was to them. This moved me deeply. 

We played and danced with them,  scribbled on the floor, made faces and read and wrote stories. We tried our best to make the day as perfect as possible for them. We were not allowed to share food with them considering their health so instead we shared tetra pack juices, they were delighted.  

The reality hit me when I saw a 10 year old boy looking very thin, sitting alone on a bench wrapped in a shawl with no expression on his face. I tried speaking to him and encouraged him to converse, but he was very afraid. This shook me. 

Soon it was their lunch time and our time to leave. I clearly remember a child coming up to me while I was tying my shoe-lace,“Didi are you leaving? When will you come back? We had a lot of fun today with you.” This touched my heart and I was so overwhelmed to see how just a little effort in my life could make such a big difference to theirs. This day influenced my decision to spend more time doing community service.  Anything I can do to help these children feel more positive about the world around them has got to be worth it.  

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