Vicky Liu ’20

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”

—Howard Zinn

From October 18th to October 20th, 9th-11th grade FCS friends and teachers embarked on the annual fall community service days. Students were presented with more than 50 choices of activities in which to partake in four main categories: early childhood education, environmental stewardship, health and human services, and caring for our elders and community. In addition to helping others and experiencing jobs, we all enjoyed 3 days off from school!  Fortunately, we had beautiful balmy weather. Depending on the service for which a student registered, his/her journey from school to his/her job site varied from zero minutes (some community service projects were based on-campus) to 40 minutes. As a cool change from last year, school improved the transportation by switching from vans to buses.

When I asked my friends what their services were like, Dabin Seomun, who volunteered at the FCS Lower school, said in a cheerful tone, “I still love fourth grade naughty kids although they asked me to play ‘tag’…and I did tell them how awesome I am. By making contacts with kids, their never-faded delight and naive actions will always remind me of those innocent days.” At the last day, Dabin drew 6 animation masterpieces as gifts for the kids, at their request.. The kids also begged him not to go by dragging his jacket. I wondered how he felt about the “extra love” received from the children. He smiled and said, “Ahhh, all in all, they are cute.”

Thorncroft was my service, which involved taking care of horses. There was a horse show going on at Thorncroft then. So, the task of my squad was to lift performance-tools, paint bridges, bed (fill base of stable), clean ranches and stables and do some soul-exchanging with horses if we wanted to! The horse I worked with, Badger, means something special to me. Whenever I came near her and looked in her clear-and-serene brown eyes, she stepped forward and put her head curiously outside the iron fences a little bit. As soon as I put my hand into the fences, she exhaled warm and damp air on it. In return, I stroked Badger’s hair and fur, cleaned her stable carefully and gave her more grass. Those tiny interactions will be invariably treasured in my mind.

Victoria Wang, who participated in Catholic Workers, which involved organizing donations and serving lunch to local residents, mentioned a moving moment. She handed some necessities to an old lady. The lady said “thank you” five times. She was so surprised by the good-quality clothes that some tears were welling up in her eyes. Victoria also told me that she felt guilty towards several people, because, at first, her group refused to give lunch to those not-on-list people. The quantity of the food was limited, so the group had to only supply food to those who were on the list. As time went by, though, they didn’t care about the list anymore. As long as people came, they served lunch. It felt so fulfilling to give needy folks a hand. “Whatever we could do, we just did it.”

When we returned to the campus on each of the three days at around 2:30 pm, whenever I passed students sitting by benches, they were sharing interesting service stories with grinning faces.

The next service days will take place in Spring and last for two days. Everyone is looking forward to that beautiful season meeting friends outside again. Most of the students might choose the same activity every year due to certain strong interests and delightful former experiences.

4 Comments

  1. Deborah Skapik

    Thank you, Vicky. This is beautiful! I am so delighted that you had a wonderful experience volunteering and that you encountered so many others who did, too. I’m still getting happy emails and letters from non-profit agencies who are touched and grateful for the work we all did on those three days. Can’t wait for May 3 & 4!

  2. Tom MacFarlane

    Great article, Vicky! I love the anecdotes about The Catholic Worker especially as that is where I have been going for years.
    Mr. Mac

    • Thanks, Mr. Mac! It’s my very first article written for FOCUS. I feel so happy that you like the way I write it.

      Vicky:)

  3. Thank YOU for providing those wonderful service choices, Ms Deb! This is my very first article on FOCUS. Thanks for the compliment. It encourages me to write for more school fabulous activities. I’m looking forward to and ready for the coming spring. I believe you will bring me and others surprises on another beautiful season:)

    Vickyyy

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