by April Nwatah
So from what I’ve been told, this is the first semester that Spanish 232 has worked with Salt and Light. In a sense, me and my two other class mates that volunteer at Salt and Light are pioneers in this project! However, being a pioneer isn’t always simple. When we first started working there, there wasn’t very much for us to do. On Mondays (the day that I volunteer) they give away clothes. The way it’s set up, its kind of like a thrift store – except everything is free. With the large amounts of people that come in to receive clothes, the area gets quite messy. Therefore, for our first couple weeks we simply organized the racks of clothing. When clothes would fall off of the hangers (percha in Spanish, as I’ve learned through my time there) we would put them back on. There weren’t too many opportunities to speak Spanish and it was getting kind of frustrating.
While at Salt and Light, we noticed that a lot of kids would come in with their parents and have nothing to do. My classmates and I decided that we should do something with these kids. We then talked to some of the people who worked at Salt and Light about coordinating a coloring table for the kids. Apparently, they used to do that but didn’t have the volunteers to run it so they stopped. This was great news for us! Because they used to have a coloring table they still had all of the supplies, so we didn’t have to go get any of our own. Also, it was finally something that we could do to be useful to the community AND practice Spanish.
The coloring table has been a great idea. Often times, the same kids come back so I’ve gotten to be friends with a few of them. Because many of them speak Spanish, I’ve been able to practice my Spanish so much more than I was able to do before we started the coloring table! Overall, it has been a great experience working with the kids.