Week 3: Giving Back and Gaining So Much

I am in my third week of school and I am loving it right now. I am learning so much, so fast. This week in school I had a wonderful experience. As a class we went to Easter Seals to perform manicures. I had never been to Easter Seals and I really wasn’t sure what it was. The girls in my class told me a little bit and I was all in. Easter Seals provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work, and play in our communities.
When we arrived we were greeted at the door with a huge welcome and even bigger smiles! My heart got all warm and fuzzy and my eyes got all watery. (Anyone who knows me knows I am a super emotional person. I even cry at commercials.) I was touched that they were so excited to see us. They could not get us into the room to do manicures fast enough. We quickly set up our stations and got to work. My first client was Nancy. She was quiet, but we still had a great conversation. She was sweet and told me about her class ring that she was wearing. When she was ready for her polish, she picked a deep sparkly red for her nails. She loved her manicure and she let me take a picture with her when I was done.   
My next client was Stephanie. She was adorable. She was in a wheelchair and could not pull up to the bench, so I simply came on the other side of the table and did her manicure standing. She was shy, but I could tell how excited she was to have her nails done. The woman who helps her had to help me keep her hands open as she had her hands tightly clinched in a fist in both hands. Together her assistant and I were able to keep her hand open and we got the manicure done. Stephanie picked the perfect purple nail polish color. She said she had never had her nails done and she could not wait to get home and show her mom. She was giddy and so cute. She brought a tear to my eye again. She kept saying, “Thank you.” I thanked her!
The funny thing is we all went there to do something nice for them and I left there feeling like they did something nice for us, at least for me. I felt like my small contribution was so deeply appreciated. I left there feeling like I was able to do something that was so small, yet it meant the world to someone else. If the opportunity arises for us to go again, I would love to go back to Easter Seals! In fact I would be honored. I have always felt like giving back to the community was important and I never even thought about giving back in this way. I’m glad it opened my eyes.
— Nikki

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