This week I had the chance to help at People Serving People twice, both in slightly different ways. My first day this week was part of my regular weekly visits to People Serving People. Typically, I help in the Pre-school room but this past Tuesday the class had a field trip to the local library during the first half of my available time so I helped in the other Early Childhood Development room, with the infants. Because the babies were still so young, caring for them was not any different than babysitting I have done in the past making it very easy and fun. The main task for any volunteers working in the infant rooms is to simply just give the infants attention and care because the volunteers do not feed or change the infant’s diapers. While there I spoke with one of the more permanent volunteers (this is not her main job but she is on a regular volunteer schedule) about how one of the babies sounded very sick because she was having a bit of difficulty breathing but when she went to the doctors provided in the PSP building, the doctor said it was simply a could. The volunteers began to tell me that unfortunately many children like this baby will not receive the same medial treatment as you and I would typically receive because not only does the family not have adequate healthy insurance to allow for further checkups but the parents are often incapable because if they also work they aren’t able to continuously be taking off work to take their child to the doctors office. This conversation served as another remind that although PSP are helping the families a great deal, they will continue to face a variety of difficulties in the future.
My second unique opportunity came the following day when the preschoolers had an “in-class” field trip. A worker of the Minnesota Children’s Museum came to take to the kids about dinosaurs and had several interactive activities. Learning that PSP not only tries to give children the educational exposure of being in pre-school but also that they provide opportunities like field trips was amazing to me. Several shelters simple work as a place for a family to live and eat food but this just goes to show how diverse PSP help can be. I definitely enjoyed this experience because it gave the kids another opportunity to feel like a regular preschooler, not just another resident living in a shelter.