I did my first New York Cares project this weekend and it was a lot of fun. I had gone to the orientation a couple months ago but with everything going on, I hadn’t gotten a chance to actually volunteer until now! Which is exactly why I signed up for New York Cares — you can basically drop in on different projects whenever you have time, rather than being required to commit to something on a regular basis. This project involved reading to kids at a transitional shelter in the East Village, which I was obviously into because I love kids and I love reading.
We met at the shelter and then went to the library a few blocks away. Lizmary, the little girl standing up, was my little buddy and wanted to hold my hand constantly. She’s six years old and we read pretty much every pop-up book in the library, even though on the walk there, she told me she thinks reading is boring. We colored a lot with crayons and she kept calling me “muchacha loca” and tried to get me to give her a piggyback ride, but I wasn’t strong enough.
After we were done reading, we went back to the shelter to eat pizza and do arts and crafts. As you can see, more volunteers showed up than kids this time, so each little girl had three adults doting on her at a time. I miss hanging out with little kids now that I don’t babysit anymore, so I had a great time. I think Lizmary did too — when her mom came to pick up, she was proudly showing off the crafts we made and then gave me a hug goodbye. I already signed up to do the same project again next month.