First day volunteering at the Chunhui China Care Home and I am in l love! With the entire facility and all of its workers and most of all the beautiful children in the home. There were several rooms with children ranging from the ages of 6 months old to around 12 years of age. They were broken off into newborn, infant, toddler, and pre-K rooms along with rooms specifically for infants and toddlers with certain disabilities. I spent the day in both the newborn and pre-K rooms.
First, I started off in the pre-K room directly after receiving a tour of the facility by the amazing director Lynn. I, along with Jenna and O, walked in hesitantly but were warmly welcomed by the nannies and given seats to sit next to the children. In the pre-K room, the children were coming in from playing at a nearby park and sitting down in assigned seats with pictures of their faces. One boy in particular, who bid all of us volunteers hello and goodbye and seemed the most energetic, passed around snacks to all of the other sweet children. After snack time, they all started picking up books to look at and read aloud to themselves and to each other and then eventually they moved on to playing with play-doh which they all seemed especially fond of. By that time they had started to warm up to me, Jenna, and O and motioned to have us open the play-doh packaging for them. All of the children were very creative and love using the different cutouts and rollers to make different shapes. With the end of play time, they cleaned up efficiently and organized their chairs in rows to have a short recap of the day so far.
After lunch, Jenna and I headed off to the new born room (most of the infants here had cleft palate) and were immediately handed an adorable baby to hold. "Go to jie jie [big sister]" I heard the nanny say. I was so overjoyed to hold such a wonderful baby in my arms and look at him with love and hope in my eyes. A few moments later, another baby was brought in and laid down next to us and oh was she cute. She held my fingers so tightly and was so happy to be given the attention from me, Jenna, and the nannies. Eventually another boy was brought over who was blind and used hugs as a way to sense his surroundings, which absolutely made my heart leap! As more of the volunteers starting coming into the room I decided to revisit the pre-K room and see if they needed any extra help.
Upon going back to the room the kids were all eating another snack and were in a very joyful mood. I was met with a lot of "jie jie" coming from the young children and a lot of them wanted my attention and affection. After snack time, they were rounded up to go to the playground again and the excited happy boy from earlier came straight to me to hold my hand. All of the children were so well behaved and stayed together the entire walk there! At the playground, other than enjoying the playsets, many of them were in awe of blowing bubbles. It was so cute watching them blow the bubbles and immediately giggling afterwards.
Overall it was an amazing and beautiful first day of volunteering. I am so appreciative of the fact that I am able to be around these fantastic children and be a part of this outstanding organization. Pictures of the home and the children are to come later but for now you can see the great group of girls attending this fantastic trip.
Until next time,
(Eliza, Mia F, Annie, Jade, O, Anna, Lia, Jenna, Julia, Morgan, Mia D, Jamie)