By:  Maria Arias Hernandez, Summer Work Travel Participant & Greenheart Club Member
Maria is a Work & Travel participant from the Dominican Republic and working in California. In her free time Maria has already volunteer 25 hours for the Greenheart Club. Below she describes her volunteer experience.

Maria center

Maria center

When I first heard about volunteering for the Greenheart Club, I thought it was going to be a little more difficult. The truth is that I had the opportunity to be part of YES: Youth Enrichment Strategies and was something super nice.

I participated in a family camp for three days at Lake Valley with low-income families in northern, Central, and Eastern Richmond, California. As a volunteer youth leader, my responsibilities included running games and activities with the children and their families and helping with chores around the camp.

Living with these families moved me a lot because it reminded me of my family, who being away from is a little difficult. But getting involved in family games was fun and sharing as a family is one of the most beautiful things in life.

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 At the end of the first day we were all very tired, and at night we had a campfire. It was super fun, but it was time to go to bed.

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The second day was filled with activities such as fishing, playing ball, and swimming in the lake. This was the best part of the day and I even improved my ability swim. By the evening of the second day the campfire was even more fun than before, singing, acting and playing instruments.

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The third day  of the family camp we received instructions to take down the tents.  After taking down the tents, we returned to the lake and ate a delicious meal, around 2:30 pm and we were all ready to go home.

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Sharing within families is one of the most beautiful things in life, YES provides the opportunity for low-income families to share naturally and I am glad to have been part of this organization. I’m glad I brought my grain of sand, I’ll never forget that experience.