This summer, I was fortunate enough to volunteer at Save A Child's Heart. I truly had the most incredible experience, which was filled with love, laughs, play, and connection. I came into this experience with the goal of helping children and providing them with emotional support during their heart surgery journey in Israel. Little did I know that these kids would become my greatest teachers and profoundly shape who I am today.
Upon arriving at the Save A Child's Heart Home, I was welcomed by Mathna, a 5-year-old child from Zanzibar, who greeted me with an enormous hug. The children were ecstatic to have someone to play with, and they immediately welcomed me into their family. Even though the children and I spoke different languages, we forged deep bonds through engaging in games, giving lots of hugs, and even indulging in silly noises.
In the photograph below, you can see Linety, an 18-year-old girl from Zambia, who has become a great friend of mine. Linety arrived at the Save A Child's Heart Home without any family or guardian, in need of life-saving heart surgery. Despite being just one year younger than me, she taught me invaluable lessons about courage and resilience.
During my time at Save A Child's Heart, I also formed amazing connections with the children’s mothers and the dedicated staff and volunteers of the organization. Within the home, we became one big family with the shared mission of helping children.
I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of Save A Child's Heart, an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and in my future psychology career. I eagerly anticipate returning to this remarkable organization, and I encourage everyone to contribute in whatever way they can.