It’s beautiful how the simplest interactions can connect you with others and leave such a lasting impact. Maureen and Gwen, two diverse and unconnected elderly ladies, touched the lives of Conor, LaShantay, Jorge, Michael and myself. The five of us Knights and Setons started off a rainy Saturday at 8am volunteering to clean up the yards of Spokane residents. Carrying rakes and trash bags, we set out to quickly and efficiently clean the yards of two houses. Yard work- what a simple, plain, laborious task; incredibly, this unglamorous act was the best experience of my month.
Yes, we cleaned the yards of two houses, but meeting the people who lived in those houses, and sharing the day with them, was an exceptional experience.
Maureen shared her life’s story with us as we cleaned up her yard—She stayed outside the entire time we worked, talked and laughed with us, and was so appreciative of everything we did. Two hours of hard work slipped by in the blink of an eye and we finished trimming her trees, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and cleaning up the front porch. When we were packing up and saying our goodbyes, she startled Conor and all of us with thank you kisses on the cheek and a tearful goodbye.
At the second house, Gwen cheerfully welcomed us and we energetically started working. Her yard was in beautiful shape in no time! She welcomed us into her home after we finished and gave us cookies and little trinkets. Jorge received a stylish, bedazzled zebra print phone case and we all were taken aback by her generosity! Michael led us in a prayer afterwards and a group hug felt right as Gwen choked up thanking us.
Waking up early, I had no idea I’d meet such great people and be able to make a difference through such simple acts. The appreciation and emotion from such simple acts moved us. A little bit of kindness, care, and value go a long way.
I’ve never really considered manual labor an enjoyable activity, but when you’re working alongside great people and helping someone else in the process, it makes it very much worth it.
-Karly Daisy McCauley
Seton of Gonzaga