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SJSS: A Trio From Madonna

About one week ago, we had 3 volunteers come to St. Jude's to spend time and help out our friends here. They we're even kind enough to send us a short story of how their day went.

"The day we went to st. Judes for a volunteering experience was a day I won't forget. We saw plenty of familiar faces that we saw from the retreat we attended there from a few weeks earlier. We got to spend a lot more time with the clients there. It was an amazing experience meeting more of the clients, and interacting more with them. I will be DEFINITELY coming back!"

Tiffany, Grade 10

"The first experience I had at St.Jude's was really memorable. Everyone was so sweet and had really big smiles. Their smiles were contagious and made my day. They were so fun to talk to, and we even got some pictures with them. I remember my first time walking in the room knowing no one there, I was shy at first, but then I started to talk to others and interacted with them which got me comfortable. As I was interacting, I learned some things about them here and there. I learned that one guy loves to play soccer, and that he carries his own knee pads around. A funny moment that happened between a person and I is that, I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, and she said beer. They're so humorous and love to dance. I remember dancing around with one of them in the sports room, we looked foolish, but still had fun. I'll never forget my first experience at St.Jude's. Thankyou for letting me in your loving community."

Jessa Valondo, Grade 10

On November 16, 2012, I headed out of my house to experience something new with my friends Jessa and Tiffany. We exchanged our usual conversation and our thoughts about what would happen that day. Jessa was full of nerves and excitement and Tiffany was chill. Other than that I was glad to see them again and hoped that I would overcome my uncomfortableness around special needs people. I was one of those people who were afraid and felt discomfort towards special needs people. When we arrived, a nice lady told us to go upstairs. We found our way to the office and learned about the basics on what to do that day and what activities they were going to do. We put away our belongings and headed to the room where the special needs adults slowly entered for the day. We learned their names once again to refresh our memories and slowly recognized each and every one of them. One student named Samantha complimented on the bracelet I was wearing and showed it to another named Anna. After, we sat at a table with other adults and learned their names. One named Thomas mistakened Tiffany's name as Timothy, so through the whole day he would call her Timothy. He spotted the phone in my hand and he asked if he could see it, so I lended it to him. He went to the camera and started to take pictures and videos of everyone including himself. It was very cute and they were so amused about it. As the day went on we did more activities and that was pretty much it for the day. Before we left we also decided to visit the Marian Shrine at the back to pray and reflect about our day. I had an amazing experience at St. Judes. It was a whole new environment for me that I could easily adjust to. The special needs adults are so sweet, funny and nice, and the staff are great. Everyone seemed so happy about being there and I definitely saw God with them. It's so easy to communicate with them and they're always so happy to see visitors. They've helped me overcome my discomfort and fear with special needs people. It feels so safe and joyful in the community. Definitely coming back during the summer with a couple of my friends!"

Jiselle Basilio, Grade 10

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