"I love you Heather, don't leave," were the most touching words I have ever heard come out of a four-year olds mouth.
During my freshmen year in high school my friends and I were at our usual hang out, the mall, one Saturday afternoon. As I was standing in line at the food court, I noticed a young mentally retarded child standing with her parents a few lines over. Many things ran through my mind when noticing this beautiful child. She had no idea she was different. I bet she was just happy to be there like a normal person at the food court. Where everyone else was complaining about the prices and the long lines, she stood there smiling just happy to be there, happy that her parents thought she was finally ready for a trip to the mall.
I could feel the stares from people in all directions, looking at this child.
Questions and thoughts were still running through my mind. Don't people understand that even though she is different, she's the same? Don't people see that person, the person underneath the handicap? That beautiful, innocent shining soul that's dying to know what she did wrong to earn all those stares is what made me realized I wanted to become involved and make a difference in someone's life.
My Youth Group was going on a service project call NJSP (New Jersey Service Project) at St. Joes Seminary in Plainsborough NJ. This was my to get involved. There were several different projects we got to choose from. Among them were going to different soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity, and an ARC Camp. There was no hesitation in my mind on which project I wanted to do. Of course I want to go to the ARC camp. I...