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Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service Alumni Help Orphans on Global Youth Service Day in Chennai, India

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Chennai, India -  On April 26, 2009, Global Youth Service Day, alumni of Religious Youth Service-India volunteered at "Udhavum Ullangal," a free home taking care of more than 100 orphan children in Chennai.

Volunteers spent quality time with the children, playing, reading, and interacting with them. Most of the children have lost their parents or are from impoverished families.

The volunteers split their time between different duties at the orphanage, spending time providing recreational activities. In addition to the activities, the volunteers also shared fruits and ice cream, and sponsored one full day of meals for the children. Such things we so easily take for granted, but to these children it was like a festival. When we were about to leave, our young friends clung to us, their tiny arms wrapped around our legs and their little hands pulled at the bottom of our shirts. They begged us not to go, not to leave them. Their smiles became a reminder to us that what we gave of ourselves means the world to them.

They wondered and asked when we would return, hoping to continue the fun and love we shared during the time we spent together. Their eyes communicated their desire to be loved, to have just a few more minutes of our time, to receive one more hug or simply to hear a promise that we will return.

For us it may have been just one day out of our self-consumed busy week, but for them it was a moment of hope, as they began to feel valued and treasured following a hug and coming to know that someone in this world wants to be with them and loves them.

Through this wonderful experience the volunteers felt strongly the joy radiating from these amazing children and witnessed their happiness despite their extremely difficult living conditions.

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