WAL Students Volunteer at Local Food Bank
So….What Did You Do Last Saturday?
By Debbie Chan, WAL at City University/Seattle, ELP Student Activities Coordinator
What do you usually do on Saturday mornings? Sleep in? Meet friends for coffee? Or, do you rush off to do all of your chores that you couldn’t get to during your busy work week? Weekends are precious to us all, I know!
Now, ask the same question to this small group of English Language Program (ELP) students from Washington Academy of Languages (WAL), here at City University of Seattle. See what they say about one Saturday morning in September when they got up early and volunteered at the North Helpline & Lake City Food Bank (www.northhelpline.org). Their main job was to help distribute food to the many clients who rely on this food bank for their daily needs.
You may be wondering, how were we able to get our students to volunteer at the food bank on a weekend morning? Well, they were told they would have an opportunity to practice their English, and that they would be able to help others. Maybe that’s what made them sign-up. Whatever their reasons for participating, I think they were ALL surprised by what they experienced that day. It went deeper than just handing out food with a word and a smile.
Here are some of the volunteers’ comments:
- When I talked with them, their humor touched me. – Zhengxue, China
- It was wonderful!!! It was the best time that I have ever had in the U.S… First, I met many students from our different class levels. Second, I met many native people and I learned so many good things from them. Also, I could exercise my English. –Omid, Iran
- I think I would do this job again because I don’t want to just stay at home and do nothing. Helping other people makes me feel happy. – Xi, China
- There was a young girl who gave me a good impression. She was so positive and optimistic that it made me feel that working in the food bank is a great job. – Di, China
- I was feeling good from working at the food bank, because I can help other people. I never had this experience before. – Bin, China
- I really had a good time there. I mean, it was a good experience for me to see how a real Seattle person lives and it felt like I lived in Seattle as a part of Seattle, not just as one foreigner who came to learn English. – Sunsil, South Korea (a repeat student volunteer at the food bank.)
There is always a need for more volunteers at this food bank. Would you consider volunteering one Saturday morning? You’ll be glad you did.
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