Magnolia students taught us so much

bingham_grace    On March 7, I went to Magnolia School as my day of service for Mount Carmel Academy. Magnolia School is a non-profit organization that offers support to adults with intellectual and other developmental difficulties. Out of the many opportunities that Mount Carmel has to offer, I chose Magnolia because it was an option that had direct interaction with people. Once I arrived through Magnolia’s gates, I realized I had made the right decision. The grounds of Magnolia are beautiful, and immediately after getting off the bus, we were greeted with excitement from its clients.
    As we entered one of Magnolia’s buildings, many of the other residents greeted us as well. Each one was so kind and had something new to tell us. They all had different interests; some were interested in the bowling team provided by Magnolia School, while others told us about the floats they rode on during Mardi Gras. It was interesting to listen to how they viewed the world, and it opened my eyes to a new way of life. They all enjoyed the simple things, and appreciated every opportunity given to them.
    After conversing with the residents for awhile, we were given a tour of Magnolia. On the tour, we saw the many divisions Magnolia had to offer. Each division showed off the residents’ wonderful God-given talents, which made you appreciate your own talents as well. At Magnolia, the clients can work to make books, baked goods, crafts and art that are all sold in their store, Special Creations. Special Creations has to be the cutest store I have ever seen. I will be completely honest: I wanted to buy out the entire store. When looking at the merchandise, one thinks to herself that the object must cost a fortune, but at Special Creations everything is sold at a reasonable price. It is a steal! The residents of Magnolia also make everything there, so it is a wonderful opportunity to buy what they have poured their hearts and souls into making.
    Once we finished the tour, we had a chance to have one-on-one time with the residents. I personally played a marvelous game of Trouble, but lost to a worthy opponent. The man I bonded with changed my view on life. Although he was winning the game, he continuously smiled and said, “You’re pretty good at this game!” He showed me that there are still people who are pure of heart, and have a childlike innocence about them, despite their age.
    When I was leaving Magnolia, the man smiled at me once again and said, “Bye, I love you.” At first I was stunned by what he had said, but whenever one of the Magnolia School clients smiled at you, especially like that, you could not help but smile back and feel God’s love around you. So by that point, I probably had the goofiest grin imaginable on my face and replied, “I love you, too.”
    Grace Bingham is a junior at Mount Carmel Academy.

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