HOW I SERVED FOOD TO 200+ PATIENTS
Being the Management Board of CNN ENGLISH CLUB, I tried my best to organize a successful annual voluntary project called “A meal a smile”, even if it meant staying up late until 3 in the morning for deadlines or giving away all of my time and energy. The project – which took place in Saint Paul’s Hospital - aimed to help the poor patients by providing them with free lunch meals each Saturday for a month (at the end of the month we accomplished a total number of 800 portions).
I myself, together with 3 other students, were leaders of 4 volunteer groups aimed to provide meals for 4 departments in the hospital: Burn Unit, Adolescence Care, M Department and Neurology Department. Every Saturday, we gathered at a restaurant to cook Vietnamese traditional meals, packed them into boxes and delivered them to the hospital where we brought food to the patients and stayed by their side to give them company. We asked about their health condition, did massage for them, talked to them or just simply listened to their stories.
I was lucky to talk to Mr. Nhien, a patient of room 302 in Burn Unit and hear his story. He was married to a lovable woman and had two beautiful daughters, one of them was probably my age. The family was not as rich, but happy; they lived in a small apartment in a small lane on Kham Thien street. On that day his wife and himself got into quite a big fight and eventually resulted in his leaving the house. It wasn’t for long, he was so regretful and apologetic that he decided to come back and make up with the family after 2 days leaving. But when he came back, the house was burning in flames. He ran to the house without hesitation to find his wife and children but it was too late. He ended up getting full burned when the firemen dragged him out of the apartment. The death of the family was confirmed to be caused by gas leaks. No one survived. Mr. Nhien was regretful and broken down at a time, he wished if he had come home earlier there wouldn’t have been such a big loss. He was soon moved to the hospital by the relatives and given full attendance during the treatment. His physical pain was getting better, but nothing can heal that mental pain in his heart, which was killing him day by day. I felt really empathic and touched listening to his story and there was nothing I could do but to cheer him up. I wished him for the best and told him to believe in time, because only time can heal the pain of the soul.
"The project was truly meaningful; it brought people closer together and helped me get to know more about living pieces on this planet. If I have more chances to work in projects like this, I wouldn’t miss them for the world."