Soul Food

Melody Lipford, Columnist •

Over the weekend, I was able to revisit one of my favorite service sites on campus. River’s Way is an organization dedicated to programming events for those who have various disabilities. The goal of this organization is to provide activities that include those of all abilities in order to promote a message of belonging throughout our community and overall society. Participants of the program range from high school students to adults.

Emory & Henry is involved with this program and hosts three different events (or weekend respites) for campers to engage in activities with college students and other members of the community. College students help organize these events and lead participants in a fun, recreational day from dancing, nature walks, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, attending football games, and other activities. The emphasis is being active.

This service aspect is unique due to the friendships you get to create with the campers and other volunteers. River’s Way is a communal atmosphere that is engaging and welcoming whoever may join.

Being my third year volunteering at River’s Way, I would recommend this program to anyone who would like to join–camper or volunteer. This service site has blessed me in more ways than one. It has taught me about the way I should view others different than me and how in the end, “we are more alike, than unalike” as the poet Maya Angelou said. Campers may not always remember your name, but they always remember your face. I’ve never been greeted without a warm smile that reminds me of the reason I do service in the first place. In the end, the giver is the true receiver.

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