By Sean Clores
Coming back from a tough day, I was in a really down mood. It felt like I wasn’t making any progress and almost as if I didn’t belong here. As I reached the church grounds, I saw a few kids from St Theresa’sBasicSchool. San Jay and Kemara, two five year olds, came running out to greet me. “Uncle Sean ! Uncle Sean!.” No matter what mood I’m in, it’s really difficult to stay that way when in the presence of these children.
They were both very insistent that I come to their classroom. This usually happens anytime I go there but today was different. Today, they were really insistent. I needed to get my mind off the rest of the day anyway, so I decided to go with them. As we walked down the sidewalk, Kemara went running into the classroom and then quickly returned. Something was going on but I couldn’t figure it out. Getting closer and closer, I started to hear chanting from the classroom. Being caught off guard, I continued to try and make out what they were saying. “SEAN A COME. SEAN A COME!!” They were chanting for me. As I walked into the classroom, all forty kids let out a big YAAAAAAYYYYY!!!! They came sprinting and practically knocked me off my feet as they came to hug me. I felt like a rock star. It’s almost like they knew I had a tough day and wanted me to know that they appreciated me being there.
I’ve always loved working with kids. There is a genuine happiness associated with them that sometimes gets lost as we grow older. Even being surrounded with so much negativity and heartache, these children find a way to be happy.
My role as a volunteer is to be present to the people. In being present, we give a dignity and hope to people who might have lost it at some point along the way. Sometimes, I need that hope restored too. These children do that for me. They bring back the smile to my face when it’s hard to have one. They bring back the hope when it seems like there isn’t much. What do I do for them? I show up and spend time with them, and that’s all they want. I’ll take that deal any day of the week.
Sean Clores is a Passionist Volunteer serving in Jamaica