My Service Learning Experience

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On Wednesday, I was sorting clothes in the woman’s room as usual. A client had come into to shop who was Deaf and used sign language to communicate with others. She is a frequent visitor at St. Francis and the staff/volunteers know her well. The staff and volunteers have found ways to communicate with her, even though nobody knows sign language. I had the opportunity to help her shop, however I had a difficult time understanding her needs. I could tell that she was frustrated because I could not understand her. This was upsetting to me because I wanted to help her. Although I had difficulty understanding her, other clients stopped shopping and helped me figure out what she needed. These clients treated her with kindness and respect, something…show more content…
This class and my service learning experience has opened by eyes to the dehumanization on homeless individuals in our community. The “otherness” I have felt towards the homeless community has disappeared. I feel more comfortable interacting with homeless individuals. Now more than ever, I make an effort to make eye contact and smile with I see homeless individuals on the street. What stayed with me most during my service learning experience was the community I became a part of at St. Francis House. I had volunteered on and off at the Compass Housing Alliance for over five years, but I did not have a strong connection with the community there. I felt it was important to volunteer and “give back” to the community, but I did not feel as passionate about it as I do volunteering at St. Francis House. I enjoyed working with all the volunteers and staff. In the woman’s room, I worked with another volunteer that was a retired nurse. We established a great connection right away. We were even called the “dynamic duo” among the other volunteers, because we worked well and efficiently. Her (the retired nurse volunteer) outlook on life, her kindness and compassion to others was inspiring. I am lucky to have met her and learn from her. She contributed to my growth this quarter, both as a nurse and as a human. Saying goodbye to her and other volunteers was more difficult that I had expected. I will hopefully be volunteering again during spring quarter because of the amazing community at St. Francis House. This class, my community clinical, and service learnings has opened my heart towards others in ways I did not even know was possible. I have found incredible amount of joy from caring for others, I will continue to pursue it and hopefully, in my own way, make a difference in the
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