What I’ve Learned From Volunteering with Children with Special Healthcare Needs

The week of April 15th – April 21st is volunteer appreciation week. One of the most memorable volunteer experiences I’ve had was working with children with special healthcare needs. Specifically, I assisted in a swim class where I worked one-on-one with children with special health care needs, teaching them how to swim. Over my time volunteering, I worked with six amazing children. Here are just a few virtues I learned from my volunteer experiences.

Patience

Patience is a virtue. Giving the kids your patience and the time they need to learn has big rewards. It’s important to have patience when working with others in any situation to achieve the best end result possible.

Respect

Every person in this world deserves respect, no matter what their story is. No differences between people should cause you to treat them without kind regards.

Compassion

The kids do not care about what you look like or what quirks you have. These kids are fully accepting of all you are and aren’t afraid to love with their whole heart, as everyone should.

Positivity

Though they may be faced with challenges every day, the kids always have a smile on their face and are ready to take on what life throws at them. Living life with an optimistic mindset is essential to make to the most of it!

Humility

Not everyone can live life with the same advantages, so you should be grateful for the opportunities you have. Be willing to share your time with those who are not as privileged.

Friendship

The friendships built with these kids are so pure! They don’t expect much from you except to play and have fun, which honestly is what all friendships should be like.

Gratitude

Of all the things I've learned, this is the most important. Be sure to always appreciate the little things, because there is joy in living a simple life.

 

All in all, volunteering is more than just another experience to add to your resume – it’s something that changes you, gives you a new perspective on life, and lets you cultivate love for others. If you haven't volunteered before, you should look into it because it's led me to meet amazing people and incredible experiences I will never forget.