Reuse and Recycle
I spent the week at Daystar, a daycare for children 3 years and younger, who are “medically fragile”. It was an amazing experience! The organization does so much for these children and their families who cannot afford to pay a nurse all day to cater to medication and specific diet requirements. Daystar volunteeers attempt to mimick the care that the kids would be given at home from their parents. They spend all day singing, dancing, and showering their love on the kids. It is so inspiring! The children are not treated like patients of their care. They are given a completely normal daycare experience, playing with other children and enjoying the day. They just also happen to be given the medical attention they need throughout the day.
Another element of Daystar that I got to experience was the many types of therapy that the children receive, though their parents may not be able to pay for it. Physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and even music therapists came in and out, all maintaining the same loving and optimistic attitude of the employees. I am studying pre-physical therapy and found it to be an amazing blessing to get to witness their work with the children. I have never considered pediatric care, but this trip forced me to reevaluate what I may want to do in the future.
Of course, another component of our trip was staying at a house with 4 of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. They have so much wisdom and have seen first-hand a lot of the need in their community and in this country. They are also extremely aware of the needs of other regions in the world, such as natural resources. Because of this, they live very conscientiously of their waste and their ability to recycle. They limit shower time and they wash and reuse everything! It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be to be so conservative of resources. To avoid leaving lights on, I found myself walking around in the dark a lot! 🙂
Overall, I loved the week of service and believe I have grown a lot in my knowledge of the Catholic Social Teachings!