Portfolio Blogpost: Youth & 25 Pizzas

by SO on May 22, 2014 - 10:31am

Over the course of this semester, I have written, commented, and submitted a collection of posts to Newsactivist. In this project, our final Newsactivism post, I will reflect on my news summaries, my volunteering opportunity, and the overall connection between all the work I have completed during this semester.  

Among my news summaries, I have tackled anything and everything from pedophile priests, to 16,000 kilometre walks for cherished causes. All had the common topic of youth. Whether it was the inspiring 20 year old Jimmy, Malala Yousafzai, the children abused by priests, the volunteer opportunities, the exercise promo, or the organ donation article, all are posts related to youth and most importantly ways to help. Whether by raising awareness or proposing solutions, all are steps towards a brighter future for youth everywhere. These people and articles have inspired me to want to make a change in my own way, even if just a small gesture. This is why, for my volunteer opportunity, I chose to help youth.  Even we didn't raise thousands of dollars like Jimmy or risk our life like Malala, any volunteering is great! Many people don't volunteer because they don't think they can make a change, while it's the little things all added up that make a big change worldwide. While our actions might not have news worthy, they were great and fun for the children as you will see in the following paragraphs! 


My volunteering for this class occurred on May 16. We volunteered at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. We donated a total 25 pizzas from Boston Pizza to the hospital and went around distributing them among the children and their parents, along with juice boxes. We visited two parts of the hospital. The first was the external treatment section. Where the children still receive treatment, but at its end which is why they return home every night. These kids were in a playroom where they were doing arts and crafts. The second section was the internal treatment section, where the kids are in treatment and stay there for weeks at a time receiving treatment. We distributed pizza to both these sections and their parents, and let me tell you that there were a lot of happy smiles that day. Everyone who received a pizza was extremely grateful, some were even surprised (in a good way) that two young girls donated pizza and their time to the hospital. 


Before volunteering at the hospital, I hoped, most of all, to bring joy to the children. After spending the lunchtime there, I can definitely confirm that we brought joy to these kids. They were so happy to receive a pizza of their choice and a little juice box. Their smiles were priceless to us, and at some times I even felt a tear building up. One of the children asked us where we went to school, and when we answered Champlain College she was thrilled to say she went to school on the same street as us. A simple, maybe even meaningless info to some, was such a happy fact in her life.  No matter what their condition, age, or gender, all were filled with pure innocent joy when we handed them their pizza. 


I realized that no matter how difficult their situation is, they are capable of finding joy in daily activities. Something that many of us should probably learn do to, to find the silver lining in everything. Our pizzas put a bright smile on their little faces, even if they were bedridden. This is a similar effect I found while reading the book chosen for this class. In the memoir ‘Girls Like Us’,  author Rachel Lloyd confesses stories about some of the abused girls that come in every day to her organization. Almost all the girls, even when being beaten, sold, or dehumanized by their pimps, find a silver lining. For some it may be a lesser beating, for others the gift of a chocolate bar. Whichever it is, it fills them with this joy and they forget about their situation for just a little while. It is impossible to make them forget about their situation, yet alone change anything with a pizza, but to bring a smile to their face for a day is close enough. And so, my hypothesis reveals itself to be true:  that individuals, even in horrible situations, find joy in life, whether a child battling cancer, or a 12 year old girl being sold on the streets.


I found an article on the web, where pizzas were brought to a hospital in Los Angeles to some little girls. Since we couldn't take any pictures in the hospital, I though this would give you a good idea of what we did at the Montreal Children's Hospital! 



And finally for those who want to know more about our day, I made a Prezi!



Photo taken by myself.

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