Recently, I had a chance to read with young children at Hamilton Families, a transitional housing center. At Hamilton, families looking for housing are provided with a living space and community while they are in search of a new place to live. Currently, there are 12 families living there, but that number changes frequently as families find new homes. The program “Read With Me” lets kids my age read with younger kids at the center.
A few other Hamlin girls and I went to read to children at Hamilton Families. I have been multiple times, and every time I get to read with new kids as well as see and connect with familiar faces. Volunteering and community service have a special place in my life, as I work with many different philanthropies around the city. I don’t volunteer to be able to say that I did, but rather to build new relationships outside of my community at Hamlin and at home, and to enjoy the experience.
By reading to children at Hamilton Families, you can really engage and relate to the kids, even when they’re small. It takes a little while for the kids to warm up to you, but soon enough, we start talking together about the books we read. I read with a young girl, and it was amazing to be able to talk with her about the images and storyline. I got to read her some of my childhood favorites, Peedie and Ollie from the Gossie and Gertie series, Dr. Seuss books, Blueberries for Sal, and more. She ended up loving the books, and I was so excited. By adding a little of my life into hers, I learned that even the little things can make an impact on people’s lives.
In the video below, Bliss speaks about her experience at Hamilton Families:
Special thanks to Hamlin parent, Krutika Patel for her support of this important work.