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SFU Co-op Student

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Picture of a building with a fence known as Cherington Place, a nursing home located in Surrey, British Columbia.
It taught me that happiness can exist, even at old age, regardless of discouraging circumstances or diminishing health.

Several days ago, I was able to visit Cherington Place with my friends, a nursing home located in Surrey.  Our task was to keep the elderly company, so we made them cards and cookies, and prepared performances to keep them entertained (offering our time, treasures, and talent).

In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect. It was hard to imagine the difference we could make in their lives, since we were just a bunch of strangers giving them a visit. But now I know not to underestimate a stranger’s capacity to impact another’s life, because the effects can be tenfold.

I would’ve never predicted how amazing the effects of my visit to the nursing home would be.  After greeting the elderly and speaking to them one-on-one, I was amazed by how appreciative they were for my visit. Perhaps they felt lonely or abandoned before, but now tears of joy glistened in their eyes. Maybe all people need is to know they are cared for, even by a simple stranger.

Moreover, I was stunned by the optimism they had for their future, even at old age. They were so youthful in spirit, regardless of their frail bodies. They were selfless enough to tell me to take care of myself, even if they were the ones in wheelchairs. It taught me that happiness can exist, even at old age, regardless of discouraging circumstances or diminishing health.

I learned that the rewards of volunteering is a two-way street. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ll get back – whether it’s a new outlook or a warm smile – when you give your time to help another.

So volunteer. It truly is a beauty.

Got any similar experiences? Share them below!

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