Reflections From Service Camp

Dear Old First,

As you know, over the summer we have hosted four Urban Service Camps. Youth groups who travelled across the county, taking time out of their schedules, to come to Old First and participate in service projects.

Not only do these projects provide a lens into the injustice that so many in our city face, but moreover, provide an invitation for individuals to reflect on their experiences.

Our most recent Service Camp, Exhale, who travelled from Illinois from July 10th-July 16th wrote a number of reflections to share with you all. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a number of the reflections, in the hope that they shed a light into the experiences and lessons learned by the campers.

Alesha Thomas, Old First Outreach Coordinator

Reflections from EXHALE

“This trip was a wonderful experience… This is an experience everyone should get the chance to experience.” –Exhale Service Campe

“This is the second time I have come to Philly. I was here just last spring where we went to all the popular tourist spots. I definitely did not think about the people in need or anything but discovering some of America’s history and being with my friends. This trip has opened my eyes to how many people really need help in this city. For example, when we had mad bags of food to walk around the city with. We walked for 15-20 minutes, and had completely given all our bags out to people that just needed a meal. It was crazy to see the multitude of people just sitting around the city because they had no where else to go or be. I’m so glad that I was able to experience this different way of some people’s living. Although it was for a short time, I believe this experience has changed the way I think and possibly the way I live”. –Alexis C.

“Being here in Philly has opened my eyes to new opportunities, such as working at Sunday Breakfast Mission to walking around the city handing out food to the homeless. Back where I am from, I would of never thought of all the homeless people. Now that I’ve seen it I know that it’s not just at Philly it’s everywhere. I feel good helping people. It helps me come out of my comfort zone, which is good. LOVE WINS.

–Ashley P.