Micaiah McCullum, a 17-year-old girl from Lorton, Virginia, often hands out sandwiches to the homeless, which is a part of a community outreach program at her school.
McCullum and 30 other students from South County High School go to local motels and shelters the last week of every month and pass out ham and cheese sandwiches to people who aren’t able to afford a good meal.
“My mom taught me to help others that may not be as fortunate as I am,” McCullum said.
McCullum has been volunteering since the 8th grade, but when she first began volunteering, she was nervous, not knowing what to expect.
“Of course, I was scared. When I first saw the shelter, I didn’t know how the people would react,” McCullum said.
After years of volunteering, McCullum began to see the effect her goodwill has on others.
“Seeing the smile on their faces is really touching,” she said. “It just encourages you, being able to have a huge impact on a person’s life with just a simple gesture.”
McCullum said volunteering in her community helped her come out of her shell.
“That really helped me with talking in public. I don’t think I am as shy as I was before,” she said.
She not only helps the homeless, but she also referees basketball in a local youth basketball league.
“Where I was raised influenced me to want to do better, not only my family but people in my community,” she said. “Seeing them struggle makes me work harder to get to where I want to be.”
Bukola Fernandez is a student at Middletown High School, Middletown, NY.