I Only Hope I Can be an Inspiration to the Children

In the Salesian Volunteer Program, we have local volunteers who decide to give their time, energy, and love to make a difference in the lives of children and young people in the communities they live in.

Every Saturday morning until noon, at the Salesian Family Youth Center we have the Oratory, where boys and girls find a home with older siblings who take care of them, educate them, and support them in their dreams.

This week I will share the testimony of Michelle who has been a role model for our children at the Oratory Sabatino throughout this year. These are Michelle’s words:

By Michelle,

“I have volunteered weekly at the Salesian Family Youth Center for the past year. I help organize meetings and aid in activities for the children attending the Oratory program. The volunteers plan the day for the kids, and everything is youth-led, meaning teens plan everything. Our youth coordinator gives us advice and empowers us while we look after the children. Each week we choose a different value we believe the kids will benefit from and base our activities around them.

An example would be when I oversaw a baking workshop and the children had to shape the dough into a design. However, I had some kids that would come back and say they didn’t get any when I knew that they did. I simply asked to see the plate where I had put the dough and saw there were leftover pieces on their plates. What I learned from this is that the kids are very playful, and I need to be more aware of what they are saying and doing. The following week I suggested we focus on the value of honesty.

The volunteers all have different roles every week. We lead activities, help clean the rooms or make lunch. A normal day of volunteering would be to gather all the kids, start our first activity, discussion and prayer, lunch, gospel reading, another activity, and finally free time until they are picked up to go home.

At the end of every meeting, the volunteers discuss what went well and what we can improve on for next time. Participating in volunteer work with children is something really special to me. I see how it influences the future of the children involved. This program encourages them to want to succeed and to be role models themselves based on the lessons we teach them. Working as a volunteer at the Family Youth Center has been an experience that I will never forget, and I only hope to be an inspiration to the children.

My favorite thing about the Salesian Family Youth Center is that this organization seeks out the youth of the community and helps form meaningful connections.”