Epilogue: Alicia Wooten

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My life over the last two years has been nonstop, filled with studying, class, and clinic. After completing school, clinical boards, and national boards I was exhausted and looking forward to some free time. But after a week of sleeping in, I needed a reason to get up every morning and get busy with my day. Volunteer Odyssey was exactly what I needed for motivation!

I was humbled throughout my experience. I take for granted that I have grown up where education isn’t a choice, it is a natural next step in life. I am blessed and grateful to have parents who have encouraged, supported and put up with me the over years. I think about the staff at Knowledge Quest and all the encouraging and mentoring they are doing for children in their community to value education and make a change. I’ve thought about Ray, he has a home again and a roof over his head. I have always had a place to call home. Unlike Ray, those receiving meals from MIFA, or the families seeking a home and helping hand from the Dorothy Day House, I have never worried about shelter or a next meal. I was reminded at the Church Health Clinic that the need for adequate health care for the uninsured is not decreasing, but becoming more in demand in our city. All of the organizations I spent time with are in need as well. Non-profits and the citizens that benefit from them, can only function with the support of the community, through volunteering, donations, and as Sister Maureen said prayer.

Shelby Residential and Vocational Services (SRVS) probably surprised and impacted me the most. I was most anxious and not sure what to expect from my day at SRVS. But was surprised by how fast my time there went. I was very unfamiliar with the special needs population and worried about interacting with the recipients. I was put at ease by all the smiling faces and bright surroundings at SRVS and could have stayed all day!

The Church Health Clinic was the affirmation and motivation I needed to continue my search for a job, in Memphis, as a dental hygienist. Being away from my field and the stress of trying to find a job in Memphis had me starting to doubt myself. Once I was back in a clinic, I felt like I was where I needed to be. While I am on my job search, I hope to volunteer with the clinic again.

I am well aware I may have several interviews and rejections before I find my spot, but I can always turn to the nonprofits to fuel me to continue. My week of seeing smiling grateful faces of all ages is motivation and encouragement. I had a purpose to wake up every morning and get my day started, help others, learn about my city, love Memphis and its amazing people, and became inspired to do more.

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a dental hygienist. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: <a href=”mailto:jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com“>jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com</a>
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Week 7, Day 7: Alicia Wooten at Dorothy Day House of Hospitality

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Before this week, I had never heard of the Dorothy Day House of Hospitality. The house is for displaced families who have become homeless and looking to get back on their feet, while staying together as a family. Tonight, I met Sister Maureen, fellow volunteers Miki and her daughter, and a volunteer of the house. The house has had 27 families live there since opening its doors in 2006. However, tonight the house was empty of families. This made Sister Maurine slightly uneasy of the thought of a family not having a bed to sleep in for the night. But, as she said, there is unfortunately a need, and they are there to serve for the next family that God places in the home. On Sunday nights, the families and volunteers gather for prayer and dessert. The prayer time is for reflection on the week, thankfulness, and concerns for the future. As we went through the readings and time of reflection, I was able to think back on my week and all the new experiences each day brought. After prayer, we went to the dining room for dessert and to hear more history and stories from Sister Maureen of those that lived at the Dorothy Day House.

Day 7 5 I brought dessert for everyone, a chocolate trifle.

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As Sister Maureen spoke, she pointed out certain families on the wall. She explained the circumstances that brought them to the Dorothy Day House, but also everything they have accomplished since leaving. Families come to the house from different situations: generational poverty, job loss, or circumstantial, such as apartment fire. Some families stay for a few weeks, others for months.The house has room for three families. What I found most shocking and heart breaking are the reasons we often do not see homeless families. Sister Maureen shared with us that boys can not go to women’s shelters with their mothers past the age of 12 and sometimes even as young as 6, depending on the shelter. Husbands and wives also get split apart. So many families live in a car, sleep in a bus stop, or from house to house of relatives or friends. The families stay out of sight because of the fear of being separated. The shelters around the city know of the Dorothy Day House and try to get families into the house as often as they can. Most of the time, the family will share a room and bathroom. There is also a play room for the children.

Sister Maureen and Jaimi Cornelsen are the only staff members. There is a board that works together to decide if the house is the right home for a family, helps the families once they are in the house, and also helps the families get settled after leaving the home. Volunteers come in to serve those living in the house in all different manners. Teachers come in for after school tutoring, lawyers come to help settle any issues that may arise with finding some where to live, accountants offer their time to help teach the families how to budget and open checking accounts. Part of the mission of Dorothy Day House is to understand how the families became homeless, so they can better help them out of the situation. Families do not leave the house until those on the board feel they are ready to be on their own. Most of the families keep in touch with Sister Maureen and are family to her. She lights up when speaking about what they have accomplished since leaving the house!

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The Dorothy Day House, much like the rest of the organizations I visited this week, is successful based off of volunteers and donations. On Monday a volunteer brings dinner to the families. Since I love to cook this is a perfect way for me to get involved with the Dorothy Day House. I can’t wait to do this, I’m already contemplating on making lasagna with rolls and salad or chili with all the fixings! I was thrilled to hear they are booked with volunteers through August, so I will have to wait until September, but none the less, still excited. My thoughts and feelings on the homeless have definitely changed through this experience. I am still hesitant to give someone money, but there are so many organizations in Memphis that help the homeless, that need donations or volunteers. Sister Maureen, shared that she gets a dollar and some change about every month from a woman, that says it’s all she can give, but hopefully it can buy someone milk. Sister Maureen says the house needs a few things, prayer, volunteers, and donations, to continue to serve families in need.

Day 7 4 Dorothy Day, who started it all in New York City.

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a Dental Hygienist. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com or to aliciawooten@gmail.com

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Week 7, Day 6: Alicia Wooten at Lifeblood

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When I was asked to volunteer at Lifeblood, I did not really think of it as volunteering. I have donated blood a few times before and didn’t really think much about it. On my drive to the donation center, I thought about the rest of my week and what it means to be a volunteer. Taking time to help someone or an organization is what I have been doing all week, so taking time to volunteer (I was asked to do this, I chose this, not forced, not paid) to go to Lifeblood is volunteering.

Since I have donated blood before, I knew how to prepare myself and what to expect from the day. First, you want to eat a decent meal 30 minutes to an hour before you donate. Before you are able to donate blood the nurses check your veins, blood pressure, and prick your finger (probably my least favorite part, ouch!) to check iron levels. If you are good in all these areas, you go on to complete a short question portion on a computer. These questions include any medications you are on, if you have been out of the country, if you have gotten a tattoo or piercing in the last year, and some slightly more personal questions about drug use and sexual activity. All of these questions are essential to ensuring your donation will benefit a recipient, not harm them. If you answer appropriately, you can now donate blood.

Sorry if this is too graphic for some. I don’t know what it is, I can handle giving my patients injections, but when it comes to needles going in to my arm, I do not like it. I do not watch the needle at any point and ask to have it covered. I also do not like a countdown of any sort, it makes me more anxious. My wonderful nurse checked my veins again, cleaned the area, it was able to get the vein on the first try! Now, I just had to lay back and relax. But for those that are needle phobic, it is not as bad as the finger prick, just slightly uncomfortable for a second.

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As I was donating blood, my nurse Karen shared some information about Lifeblood. Lifeblood is a regional center that supplies blood to all Baptist, Methodist, St.Francis, The Med (Regional Medical Center at Memphis), and Lebonheur hospitals. Memphis is in constant need of blood and platelets donations because The Med is the Midsouth’s only Level 1 trauma center. Memphis is also the nations second largest medical center per capita, so our hospitals are in constant need of blood. Lifeblood is the region’s only donation center and they are tackling a very large task. An interesting thing to note is at Lifeblood you can make donations in someone’s name who is having surgery. If you have surgery and your doctor suggests donating, you can donate your blood in advance to have available to you if needed.

Donor Fest is June 9-15. Lifeblood’s goal for Donor Fest is to have at least 1,900 donors, which can save thousands of lives. This events t-shirt says “HERO” on the back. I was slightly uncomfortable (and still kind of am) about wearing the t-shirt because I do not think of myself as a “hero”. However, I found out that my donation can save up to three lives! This has particular meaning to me because I have a friend whose sister recently underwent extensive surgery and is alive because of blood donations. To her family, all the people who donated are heroes.

And in case you are still on the fence, 45 minutes later I was still smiling after giving my donation.

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And if you are still not convinced after donating you are encouraged to eat snacks and get a t-shirt.

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All in all, donating blood took about an hour of my time. Lifeblood will even send you a nice email and phone call to remind you when you can donate again. Be a donor, a hero. Day 6 5

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a Dental Hygienist. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com or to aliciawooten@gmail.com

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Week 7, Day 5: Alicia Wooten at MIFA

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It’s sad to think that we have members of our community who only have one guaranteed meal a day, but if you are in prison you have three meals a day. Thankfully, Memphis has MIFA’s Meals on Wheels program. The Meals on Wheels program is MIFA’s largest program. With the help of 100 volunteers, 1,800 hot, nutritious, lunches are served to homebound elderly and seniors.

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My route today was in the Binghampton area. I drive through this community at least once a week, never to stop and think about the people in the houses or walking down the street. After today, I will think about all the smiling and grateful people I met in this community. Knock after knock, house after house, I was able to serve a hot meal. There was only one house on my route that there was no answer to my knock. The unanswered knock has resonated in my thoughts all day, wondering about who lives on the other side of the door. My hope is this resident was out with a family member or friend eating a meal. My prayer is that this resident ate today. My fear and worry is that this resident relies on this meal, are they hungry?

As we continued along our route to more houses, the car began to fill with the delicious smell of the food in the coolers. My stomach began to rumble and I started to think about what I would have for lunch today, having already eaten breakfast. Do the recipients of Meals on Wheels have this same luxury? I wonder if they have a family member, friend, or neighbor come by and help them with breakfast and dinner. Much of my weekend is consumed with eating out at my favorite Memphis restaurants. Who helps the homebound elderly prepare meals on the weekend or do they go hungry?

My day was made brighter after leaving each house. I was always thanked profusely, and even had one woman say “bless you child.” Seeing their faces light up at the smell of the meal is something I will never forget. Some of the individuals were chatty and made me want to sit on their couch and just talk, while some were quiet or had family members or aids at their home. I felt like I was doing something for them, but I left each doorstep with a smile to match theirs.

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a Dental Hygienist. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com or to aliciawooten@gmail.com

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Week 7, Day 4: Alicia Wooten at Church Health Center

Today I was able to volunteer at the Church Health Center’s dental clinic. Since graduating from dental hygiene school, it has been about a month since I have seen a patient. I was anxious and excited, and hoped my skills weren’t lost; thankfully it was like riding a bike.

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The hygienists were so welcoming and took time to get me set up and familiar with the clinic. They showed me where all the supplies were, how to use the computer system, and getting my patient back. After becoming familiar with everything, I was off to get my patient.

My mom is a nurse, so healthcare in our house has always been top priority. I grew up going to the dentist every six months and to a physician once a year for a physical. We always had health insurance too. By having health insurance and a mom in the health care field we were also able to research the best doctors and practices and choose who our doctors are. For those that do not have health insurance, there are few options, and health care, including dental care, becomes less of a priority. During my time in school I started to understand the need of clinics like Church Health Center Dental Clinic. In today’s economy and current job crisis, many families are either having to choose between dental and vision insurance, or unfortunately have no choice because they have lost their insurance all together. Church Health Center provides services for those who are uninsured. The payments are based on income, on a sliding scale, and the staff is there to work with the needs of the patients. To cut down on prices, the clinic also has a lab it uses for fabrications of restorations. Unfortunately, there is such a need for medical centers like Church Health Center, that there is a long waiting list to be seen. But, fortunately Church Health Center is here to serve. The dental clinic is staffed by both volunteer dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dentists and as well as a full-time dental team. Due to the fact some patients have never been to or it has been several years since seeing a dentist they require several appointments and recall visits. The staff makes sure to take the time to explain the treatment plan to each patient, letting them know what to expect at each appointment.

I was fortunate to grow up with insurance, so going to the dentist was never scary, and never took more than an hour for a cleaning. For most patients coming to Church Health Center, this is not the case. Most patients have repeat appointments to remove the calculus (bacteria) that has formed under the gum line. (I won’t bore you with all of the implications of not having regular appointments). These appointments are somewhat uncomfortable and for the new patient can be scary. Today, I saw two patients who were returning for maintenance appointments. Before each patient, I read the clinical notes and was hopeful to see improvement. The patients had several initial appointments to thoroughly clean out the calculus/bacteria and assess any need for restorations. I was amazed to see the progress these patients have made. These patients listen and follow instructions (floss, floss, FLOSS) because they want to save their teeth and do not want to have to long appointments they had when they started. They are proud to smile now and that is one reason I love my field! Today was a day that reminded me why I want to be a dental hygienist. As much as I love the quick and easy appointments, the patients who are listening to you and are motivated to improve their oral health care, are the ones who make me walk out with a smile.

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Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a Dental Hygienist. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com or to aliciawooten@gmail.com

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Week 7, Day 3: Alicia Wooten at Knowledge Quest

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Today I ventured into an area of Memphis I was very unfamiliar with and probably, had I been lost, I would have called my dad asking how to get out of South Memphis. What I found was a hidden gem, Knowledge Quest, tucked away on a street corner. When I walked up, a small, old church and classroom type portables, I was greeted by warm, smiling faces, welcoming me. I walked into a small sanctuary of kids and adults excited to start another day of summer camp. If I am being honest, for the first few moments, I was uncomfortable and felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb; for the first time in my life I was the minority. This feeling and thought quickly subsided, as I was introduced to the adorable Pre K through 1st graders that I would be helping with that day and met their lovely and inspiring teacher Ms. Hill. In that moment, I was reminded that kids just want to have fun and they don’t care who you are, as long as you are there to have fun with them. They are looking for a friend to have fun with, as we all are in life.

Knowledge Quest has grown so much in the community, they have actually out grown their main buildings. K.Q. opened in 1998 as a community initiative to help the children and youth of the community. K.Q. has an after school program that cultivates young minds not just academically, but creatively as well. They also offer a summer camp program for children who have completed Pre K through 8th grade. They have expanded to have a site at College Park and use the gym, rooms, and play ground at Gaston Park. K.Q. does not require a fee for the children to attend camp and that most of the staff are volunteers. Outside the structure activities and learning opportunities, K.Q. provides the children with breakfast, lunch, and a snack. The children participate in normal summer camp activities: sports, arts, a dance class, and will even help to cultivate a garden. Each class is responsible for coming up with a class color, mascot, cheer, and song with a dance. I became an honorary member of the K.Q. Lions who were working hard on their roar, masks, and song and dance. The kids are so creative and as all kids do say the some hysterical things. I think one of the high-lights of the day was trying to explain my freckles to a 5-year-old!! And the most heart warming was when I got hugs from all the kids as I was leaving!

The kids had art today and worked on making the outside a part of their art work. They drew a picture of something in the sky and something on the ground. Their pictures will eventually all be put together to make a “quilt”.

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Then it was onto lunch time! Today the kids had chicken quesadillas, pear, chocolate milk or water. And then a small snack of chex mix and juice or water.

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After lunch we headed back inside for sports. A little stretching first and then “playing” soccer as only 4-6 year olds can!

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As a former summer camp kid and summer camp counselor, I understand parents worries about leaving their children all day. As a child I didn’t worry about that, every day I got to see my friends, and have a new adventure. As a counselor, I would hear parents talk about the trust they put in the staff. South Memphis is an area the news likes to talk about. We hear about the poverty, violence, and schools. But, what they should be talking about is Knowledge Quest. The children attending K.Q. are well taken care of by the staff, who entertain them and take care of them in a safe environment all day long. The kids are excited to be there every morning and ready to tell their parents all about the day when they are picked up. The area of town might be different, but the love of the kids, the activities of the day, and the devoted staff are the same in South Memphis as in the suburbs.

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a Dental Hygienist. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com or to aliciawooten@gmail.com

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Week 7, Day 2: Alicia Wooten at Community Alliance for the Homeless

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When I found out I would be helping to furnish and set up a home for a homeless recipient, I started having flashbacks of all the moving I did in college. My first thought was I hope we don’t have to climb stairs, my second was I should probably wear tennis shoes, as I am not the most graceful person. I was also thinking about how hot the day would be and hoped we would be doing more inside than outside. I wonder what all we would be buying? Furniture, bedding, kitchen supplies, clothes, groceries? What did moving a homeless person into a new home entail?

I had no clue how much this day would change my life. I will be honest and say my thoughts on the homeless were pretty negative. Unless I’m with my church group at a soup kitchen, I’m uncomfortable when I see a homeless person. Are they going to ask for money or food or yell at me if I don’t pay attention to them? When I lived in Knoxville, I was closer to downtown and experienced the homeless on a daily basis. I got so used to seeing them outside stores, but I simply ignored them. I passed by them each day without really giving them much thought. I believed the stereotype that most homeless people are on the streets because of a drug or alcohol addiction and no real drive to find a job. But, all of this changed when I had the chance to meet up with Katie from Community Alliance for the Homeless.

Currently,there is a nation wide initiative to house 100,000 homeless in the U.S. this year. Memphis has a goal of housing 100 homeless. The criteria, which has been set for this program, is to house the most desperate and in need of shelter, who are those who have the highest risk of death on the streets in two years time. This information was completely mind-boggling to me. The homeless suddenly became real to me. I thought of all the times I have passed someone holding a sign under a bridge, intersection, or outside of a store and for the first time thought about their life and the will to live.

I would be meeting Katie, Lauren, and Sarah at an apartment complex, in the Hickory Hill area. It has been ages since I have driven past the old Central Church and Hickory Ridge Mall. Memories of eating at Cracker Barrel and heading to the carousel at the mall came flooding back. Unfortunately, the area is not what I remembered, and I began to feel uneasy about where I was driving. This feeling quickly went away as we got busy planning our day. We unloaded two full loads of furnishings for the home. This included a kitchen table and chairs, queen mattress and box springs, and a chest of drawers. It has been a few years since I have moved furniture like this and I knew I would be feeling it the next day! With a budget of $1000, we had a long way to go to make this apartment look like a home. We made a plan to head to Habitat for Humanity Restore and Goodwill. You could say we hit the jack pot at Habitat for Humanity Restore. Here we found a love seat and a tv stand in very good condition, very reasonably priced. We loaded up and headed down to Goodwill where we found some essential items for the kitchen. What I had not thought about were all the other essentials of daily living, that really make a house feel like a home. Items such as, a hand towel draped over the oven, pot holders, something as simple as soap sitting on the kitchen sink, or a candle on a table. So we headed to Big Lots for personal hygiene items, towels for the bathroom and kitchen, pillows for the couch and bed, blankets, sheets and comforter, small rugs, cleaning supplies, and other decorative items for the home. And the finishing touch, a clock radio! (We found out our recipient, Ray, loves rock music!) We crammed everything we could in the car and headed back to get everything in place for Ray to arrive.

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Getting the house ready for Ray.

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As the day went on I learned that Ray is a Veteran, has family, a dog, and has been living with a community of people under a bridge. The more I learned about Ray, the less he became a face I would ignore as I drove past a bridge or walked past a store. The time was getting closer for Ray to come home and the anticipation was building. As Ray and his dog, Whitey, came through the door I don’t think I have ever had a bigger smile on my face (or in my heart). Ray was speechless. He had tears welling up in his eyes. He was truly grateful, even to the point of saying he “felt guilty” for getting this opportunity. An American, who fought for our country, felt guilty. I have never been more humbled in my life. I don’t know Ray’s whole story, but I do know that he deserves to have a home. The VA and a case worker will help him get back on his feet with doctor visits, a job, and budgeting and paying bills. Ray has often been in my thoughts as I went about the rest of my day. As I got home, I suddenly realized all the things I take for granted having home, a meal, a bed, had whole new meaning. I like to think that Ray took his time sitting on his couch, eating at his table, cooking a meal in his kitchen, and sleeping in his own bed. I hope it will be one of many peaceful, comfortable, and restful nights for him.

You can “meet” Ray.  Watch the story

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a Dental Hygienist. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com or to aliciawooten@gmail.com

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Week 7, Day 1: Alicia Wooten at SRVS

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My week started at Shelby Residential and Vocational Services (SRVS). I may have been the most nervous about this day. I started my day at SRVS around 9:00 in the morning, so the night before, and while getting ready I was pretty anxious. The disabled population is one I am not familiar with at all. I had so many thoughts running through my mind: Will they be comfortable around me? Will I be comfortable around them? Will I be able to understand them? Will I disrupt their schedule and upset them? All of these thoughts were put to rest as soon as I walked through the door. Everyone was welcoming with waves of hello, hugs, good morning, and introductions.

My first task of the morning was slightly daunting, due to the fact I know nothing about plants or planting. I can keep a bouquete of flowers alive for a few days, but can not arrange them or manage to cut them to the right size for a vase. My mom says gardening is therapeutic for her, and I just don’t get it. When I have attempted to plant or garden, I am awkward and worried about killing the fragile plants. I was asked to help plant some new flowers in their sensory garden and thought why not tackle one more thing I am unfamiliar with. We headed out with one of the classes that was taking place, I was surprised and amazed at how the recipients immediately got involved and wanted to show me the garden and what they were growing. The garden is full of flowers and plants (I will not even try to tell you what they are because I would embarrass myself). They had planter boxes of tomatoes, different types of peppers, cabbage, and herbs. (I know only this because they were labeled!) As I started to work, I noticed how independent the recipients are. They could be as hands on as they wanted to be or just watch the others. Each person worked together, sharing tools, but also picked out where they wanted to plant. I was most amazed by Chris, who is in a wheelchair, but does not limit himself because of his wheelchair. He immediately found some way to help out and began watering the plants as we got them in the ground. Another participant LaQuita, was wearing a very pretty blue dress and wanted to plant, but was also very demure in her way of planting. She asked for gloves so her hands would stay clean and also a smock to sit on, so she wouldn’t get her dress dirty. She also managed to sit very lady like the entire time! She was determined to help plant, but even more determined to stay clean!
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Once we finished, we headed back inside, I got a quick tour of the learning center. I was amazed at all of the activity rooms and how bright and fun all the classrooms looked. The rooms were very inviting with art work  on the walls and windows. Each of the rooms is also impeccably organized with activities in open boxes or trays to use at any time. They have an art center, music room, therapy room, media room, learning kitchen, and mock set up of a house. Everything here is to better mainstream the recipients in a safe learning facility.

I then headed to another classroom and went to the therapy room. The therapy room has some exercise equipment, such as a bike, treadmill, and small trampoline.  It is a large room about half the size of a basketball court. It is open in the middle for individual games or group games, such as, bowling or the parachute. The therapy room even has a ball pit! The purpose it to get the recipients up and moving, but also to work on sensory skills. I played “catch” with two recipients who are completely different in terms of physical ability and verbal ability. Patrick and I played catch with velcro pads and a tennis ball, but this is more than just a game of catch. One of the staff members informed me that this helps with hand eye coordination and sensory skills. She also told me that although Patrick could not verbally communicate with me, he understood everything I was saying to him. He answered to his name and even posed for a picture. I also played a game of catch with Precious, whose smile can light of a room. We played her favorite game, which she is very good at, and had me laughing and working hard to catch a small ball in my basket. I have a feeling if she was allowed to play this game all day she would!
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Volunteering at SRVS could not have been a better start to my week. I left with a better understanding of this population and having made a few friends along the way. I hope to return soon!

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a Dental Hygienist. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com or to aliciawooten@gmail.com

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Prelude: Alicia Wooten

I have lived in Memphis my entire life, with the exception of a few years in Knoxville at UT, but have stuck to the familar suburbs or “safer” streets in midtown and downtown. I grew up in a Baptist church that put huge emphasis on volunteering and giving back. Admittedly, I signed up for many mission trips and activities around Memphis because it was another chance to see my friends, but also because I thought this was what I was supposed to be doing.But, I was always left feeling incredibly blessed and wondering what more I could do. The experiences crept up on me later in life when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I realized I wanted to be in a career where I was helping people. And after a very long “journey”, as my parents call it, I have found myself in the dental field as a dental hygienist. Having recently finished school and passed boards I have had enough down time and need something to do with my time. While looking for a job, I have had several friends encourage me to look into volunteering and mentioned Volunteer Odyssey. My hopes for this week are to get to know my city better and the different groups of people in my city, find a organization to regularly volunteer for, and learn more about myself by getting out of my comfort zone.

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