Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Volunteering Episode IV: The One That Should Have Been Called A New Hope Christian Centre

February 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

My time tonight helping out at the New Hope Christian Centre’s youth club was fairly ordinary. I arrived and waited for the kids to get there. Once they did, we played the game we had played in previous weeks, involving one of the kids blindfolded while trying to hit the other kids with a pillow as they ran by. (Makes more sense if you see it.) I found this kids’ club to be a little more chaotic than previous ones. We had quite a few more kids then normal, which made the level of volume throughout the evening considerably higher. After the kids got bored of the first game, we took a quick snack break and then headed outside to play a quick game of manhunt. By that time, the kids’ club was over. We then cleaned up the room and set it up for the following day.

While we were playing the first game, I noticed the one kid  was listening to an Ipod Touch as he ran around the room. First, I have to wonder why a thirteen year old needs an Ipod Touch to begin with. Second, the fact a kid coming the club had an Ipod Touch seems odd. Not out of the ordinary, mind you. I’ve volunteered with after-school clubs and the like in economically deprived areas before, and there always seems to be an odd prevalence of Ipods, Nintendo handhelds, expensive sneakers, and the like that just seem out of place. In fact, these kinds of things seem to be more prevalent in lower income areas than middle class ones. To see this trend in England as well confuses me yet again. To be fair, I do not this kid’s specific background. However, the Ipod brings up a lot of questions concerning how people in different economic situations choose to spend their money.

Before taking me back to the Village, Duane stopped by a family’s house with some food. I waited in the car a bit with his wife Claire, as he had told her he was going to read some Scripture and do a little prayer with them. I do not know the details of this visit, and felt uncomfortable asking questions for the sake of privacy. However, it was interesting to see another little way how the New Hope Christian Centre is interacting with the community, particularly in a way that is more overtly Christian than what I have experienced at the club. On the drive back, I thought about all the different little ways in which the Centre was probably making a difference.

Volunteered on 03/02/2011

From 18:00-20:00

2 Hours: Total of 8 Hours

New Hope Christian Centre

Supervisor: Duane Elkins

Tags: 2010 Andrew