Be the reason someone smiles

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Rotary Club of Picayune held a cookout and Mardi Gras Parade for the residents of Bridgeway Apartments Tuesday morning.

The apartment community is home to 24 adults with intellectual and development disabilities, who see such events as their only opportunity to socialize with other members of the community.

As I stepped into the room where Rotarians were cooking up a scrumptious meal to serve these individuals, I saw how content the Rotary members were to extend a helping hand to those who seldom get a chance to interact with others who don’t live at the facility.

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After lunch, everyone gathered outside for the parade where Rotarians threw beads and offered colorful gifts to each resident.

Attending such events fills me with a sense of contentment that even my favorite meal wouldn’t bring.

This takes me back to my volunteering days when I was forced against my will to volunteer at a home for senior citizens back in India. I relatively young then, the only reason I went was to avoid the constant nagging my parents would put me through had I decided not to go.  What was initially a place I thought I wouldn’t last a day, eventually turned out to be a second home for the next two months of my life. To this day, that experience has been etched in my memory as one of the most splendid experiences I’ve ever had. Not only did I serve those adults, but made life-long friends whom I still visit whenever I go back home. A similar feeling came over me when I met the adults at Bridgeway. Even though my interaction with them was temporary, I still felt privileged that I brought a smile to their face.

Today, I’m grateful my job gives me that opportunity and I hope to be able to continue to try to bring a smile to those who are less fortunate.