Stories of Hope

Volunteer Story: Annie

Nov 13, 2019

I volunteered at New Hope as a preschool teacher for children aged two to nine years old. I taught them the English alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors using a variety of activities including songs, dance, and hands-on crafts. These children brought so much energy and a cheerful vibe to each class that radiated in every activity. Their curiosity made them into explorers, their fearlessness made them into warriors, and their creativity into artists. With every passing day, my work reaffirmed my understanding and appreciation for each child battling a different set of medical conditions, yet so alike in their curiosity and love of learning. 

Outside the classroom, these children continued to observe the world around them with eyes filled with wonder, excitement, and curiosity. They did not pass by even the most ordinary details in their daily routine—whether it was cooking smells from the canteen, snowflakes on the windowsill, or a huge white dog napping on the playground—stopping each time to observe, question, and appreciate their surroundings. Whether it was their nannies, volunteers like myself, or weekly visitors to the foster home, these children joyfully welcomed us into their lives and never hesitated to express their affection and establish connections. Their every day, every moment was filled with love, laughter, and gratitude. They naturally looked at the bright aspects of their lives and overcame the obstacles with the same positive attitude, inspiring those around them to do the same.

Having to say goodbye to these children was one of the hardest things I have had to face, and I still find myself reminiscing about my time at New Hope amidst the busy routine of medical school. It warms my heart to receive the updates of these children and see pictures of them smiling in the arms of their forever families. It is my sincere hope that they continue to be happy, playful, curious, and energetic wherever their journey may take them.