Julia.web

Julia’s Turning Point

12
.03

Twelve-year-old Julia volunteered at Christmas alongside her mom. She wanted to remind hurting people that someone cared. That day lives changed, including her own.

Little Red Gloves
The Salvation Army building in Regent Park scared me the first time I saw it. A large barbed wire fence surrounded the parking lot, and there was garbage piled up outside the door. It was a PA day in December and my mom was taking me and my sister to work with her at The Salvation Army.

We carried heavy bins full of donated toys as we headed up the stairs. When we got to the top, my mom was greeted by countless people, all with big smiles and red aprons. It was the annual Christmas center, where the people in the community could come in and pick out donated gifts for their children. Weeks had been spent setting up and you could tell, the whole place looked beautiful.

I found out I was going to be a personal shopper, someone who helps people find gifts. My first customer was a mom, picking out presents for her six-year-old daughter. After she chose a Barbie doll and a stuffed animal, I led her towards the table that had adult gifts on it. Everyone who came in got a gift, to show them that they aren’t forgotten. When I handed her a pair of little red gloves she almost started to cry because she was so happy.

That’s when I had my turning point. I go on three vacations a year and I’m never as grateful as this woman, and all she got was one small pair of gloves. It’s amazing that something that small could make such a big difference. I thought to myself “what if all I got for Christmas was a pair of red gloves?” Then I had an idea: it doesn’t matter how many presents you get, because the presents you give are more important. When I looked back at the building as I was leaving, I didn’t see scary barbed wire fences or lots of garbage, I saw Christmas.

Note: Julia Dobrowolski wrote the above article for Turning Points, a character development and literacy program where students write a narrative essay about a significant event, a turning point, in in their lives.
Students are encouraged to submit their essays for formal evaluation, recognition and publication. In 2012 more than 12,700 students submitted essays. Julia’s essay won first place.

 

7 Comments

Fraser28

good on her. I think this sort of volunteering should be done by more students to give a good look at how the other half lives

Holly Ryckman

I was very touched by Julia’s story, I have lived in Regent Park all my life and Julia’s story has more often then people think it does.
Looks can be very deceiving you have to experience some things first hand before you can form an opinion.

Ruby Whiffen-Tilley

Touching story, Julia. I pray more young people would avail of an opportunity to experience a humbling experience that could change their lives! God bless you.

Steve hilbilay

a youngster with a big heart like hers is gon go far in dis world. god bless

Kristin Early

I wish everyone could see life through your eyes … the world would be a better place! I love you and am so proud of this article you wrote!

samson sunday paul

God bless julia and God bless the army,this story is wonderful and i am impress

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Katrina: 10 Years Later

Katrina: 10 Years Later

08
.28

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States, The Salvation Army continues to be a source of hope, stability and service to the residents affected.

Early in the morning on August 29, 2005, the historic storm struck and its aftermath was catastrophic.  Experts estimate that Katrina caused more than $100 billion in damages.

On impact of the storm, Salvation Army emergency disaster workers and volunteers, included personnel from Canada, were on hand to deliver relief in the […]

Innovative program improves lives of vulnerable

Innovative Programs Improve Lives of Vulnerable

08
.27

The Salvation Army is committed to improving the lives of people who are struggling. This means constantly evolving to meet changing needs.

In Barrie, Ont., The Salvation Army’s Bayside Mission, a men’s shelter and social service centre, has developed three new initiatives that are making life easier and improving health.

Old Bikes Find New Homes

This past summer, a small group of teens collected old and unused bikes, tuned them up, and handed them over to The Salvation Army to distribute to […]