I am VOA.
I just like to help people. It was just before my 7th birthday when my mom and I were driving home from school and a commercial came on the radio about collecting pajamas for foster kids. I remember asking my mom about foster kids and why they need pajamas. Right there in the car I decided, with my birthday a couple weeks away, I would ask my friends and family to buy pajamas that would be donated to kids in foster care instead of buying me presents. It was awesome! After that, I decided to do it every year.
In 2016 my mom started working for VOA, and our family signed up to volunteer at Stuff-a-Bus to collect food, warm clothes, and gifts for families in need for Christmas. Even my grandma and grandpa volunteered with us. There was one donor that came out of the store with a shopping cart that was overflowing, and they gave us the whole cart. I was so surprised. I got to see how generous people can be, and that made me so happy.
I am 12 now and about to start 7th grade. Over the last 5 years, I have volunteered with lots of different programs and learned a lot about our community. In fourth grade, my whole class came and spent the day doing art and having lunch with the people in the Meaningful Day Program. We loved it! My teacher Mrs. Gillette taught us about how we are all different, but inside all the same and we are all important.
Helping people is what God wants us to do. What I want people to know is that you can make a difference. It doesn’t matter if you are old or young or rich or poor. You can make today better for someone just being kind.
Xavier Clark is a longtime community volunteer. His story appears here as a part of our #IAmVOA campaign.