Hello, my name is Ramine Jarrahian and I am currently an Americorps VISTA working at the Hunger Intervention Program for the summer. So far my time as a VISTA at HIP has been quite an experience. Although I have volunteered at HIP in the past, the last two summers in fact, I have felt much more involved and connected to the community this summer. Constantly being at one site for the whole summer is a completely different experience to being there once or twice a week, and I have begun to see familiar faces at the sites and have been able to get to know some of the families as well. This is also the first year that I have been able to see some of the big events take place at various sites, something that I had not been able to do in the past.
One of the most enjoyable events that we have had so far this summer would be the drumming/concert at Paramount Park. Not only did we have the group there playing music, we also had the local library bringing in free books for the children. Seeing the kids genuinely enjoy themselves, both with the music and with the literature, was a brightening sight to see. In addition to all of this, many of the children also came to get meals, making their afternoon even better. That day was overall quite successful in terms of making the kids’ day, and it was also one of the largest turnouts that we have seen at Paramount Park this year.
Days like these, or just any day in which we can help make a child’s day better, are genuinely fulfilling. When a kid comes up to the serving table looking overjoyed and excited to receive a meal from us and is very grateful for the service that we provide, I am reminded why I have stayed with the Hunger Intervention Program- to provide a happier and healthier future for these young children who are the future of our society. In fact, I am not only very proud to be a full time member at HIP this summer, I also look forward to continuing to work with them in the future so that I might continue to give back to the community that my own family was once part of, and that many families are currently in.