By Roy Attalah, YES 2014-2015, Lebanon, hosted by American Councils in Hilo, HI
On October 7, 2016 seven YES alumni came together with 42 elderly people at the Bethalla Mahbe elderly persons’ home for a special volunteer event. Everything went really smoothly from the catering to the activities, and everyone had a nice time.
We felt that it was important to hold a volunteer night for these elderly people so that they would know that there are people standing by them in this harsh world. We wanted our elders to feel that there is still hope in the youth for the betterment of the community and humankind. Surprisingly, we, the YES alumni, benefited the most from this event, by listening to the stories and advice these older people shared.
To start off our volunteer event at Bethalla Mahbe, we played an ice breaker to get to know each other and introduce ourselves and the YES program to the elderly residents. We explained who we are, what we do, and what our goals are. Then we served them dinner, and they were all very thankful and appreciative.
After that, we spent the rest of the night telling jokes, laughing, talking, singing and dancing with each other. At the end of the night, around 10 pm, the elderly people did not want us to go. We had gotten really comfortable and close to each other even though we only spent a short time together.
This was an eye-opening experience for the YES alumni in Matn. We learned that with only a slight bit of effort, organization, and money, anyone can spread infinite happiness and joy in the hearts of others.