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Simple volunteering, but never boring!

September 4, 2012

By Yuchen Ouyang, Work & Travel Participant and Greenheart Club Member

This is Yuchen Ouyang, a Chinese participant of the Work & Travel program. I am working at a food court near Buffalo, New York. Recently, my life in the United States became more colorful

Yuchen volunteering at the Habitat Restore

and meaningful, because I am doing volunteer work now! My volunteer work site is the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Buffalo, New York. People donate all kinds of stuff to this Restore, such as furniture, sinks, books, almost everything. The Restore sells these items at very low price, then with the profits Habitat for Humanity can build houses in Buffalo. My volunteer work is to clean the merchandise, keep everything beautiful, and also help my supervisor to load the items into customers’ trucks. My work is very simple, but I think it’s very meaningful. When I make everything clean it’s more likely for customers to buy things. Then Habitat can get more money to do some good things. Simple work doesn’t mean boring work.

My supervisor at the Restore is very friendly, his name is John. John is from Canada.  If it’s not busy, he will come to me and talk with me. We talk about American life, Chinese history, China town in Toronto, Chinese food, Mexican food and so on. I’ve found he knows a lot about the world. We both so enjoyed our talks. From our conversations, I can know more about people’s lives in different countries, and also people’s opinions about China. The third time when I went there, I made some Chinese food and brought it to him. He enjoyed it so much which made me feel really honored. I realized that food is a very important part  in cultural transmission. Also at the Restore  our customers are very kind. They are very interested in asking me about my program, about China, and about how I like America. Sometimes customers joke with me. They are really easygoing. Everything I have experienced  makes me feel the USA is a very nice place and I like it so much!

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