Foreign students get a lesson in giving at the Grant Street soup kitchen

The Colorado School of English is doing more than just helping foreign students master the complex language of English. It's also teaching them to give back to the communities that help them. As part of the service learning component of the curriculum, students do a volunteer project every twelve weeks; in February, they visited the Grant Avenue Street Reach Soup Kitchen at 1600 Grant Street, close by the school's downtown facility. "They all wrote about their experience volunteering and we received some amazing essays," says Zolo Jones, student services coordinator and academic advisor at the school. "Most of our students have never volunteered in their countries and this concept is somewhat new to them, so this experience made a very positive impression on them."

And on us, when we read their essays, which we're sharing this week.

See also: English-language students on giving back at the Grant Street soup kitchen

Here's the essay from Neymar of Venezuela:

Volunteering is an amazing activity. The impact of people's being volunteers is huge, especially for non-profit companies, which usually have limited monetary resources to work with.

Since I arrived in the U.S., I have been volunteering in different institutions and doing all kinds of activities. I think that in this country people have many opportunities, especially in order to develop their abilities. One of those opportunities is to volunteer.

Many companies, profit and non-profits, have their doors open in order to receive as many volunteers as possible. To me, it is an important help for volunteers in order to improve their skills and also it's great to recomfort your spirit. I understand that volunteering feeds people's spirits by giving them the feeling of being helpful for their communities or others. Yesterday, I had a great experience by volunteering at the church. We were helping them to cook for many people who continuously go to the same place in order to receive food and a warm place to eat. I was very impressed by the quality and the variety of the food. Very good job!

I am so happy that we went to the church and that we had such a great experience.

And the essay by student Maria Fernanda of Mexico:

Denver, like other cities, has to deal with the problem of homeless people. So there are citizens who like helping. Therefore one form is through soup kitchen to provide food for the people that can't afford it. Different levels of organization make this activity possible, for instance: gifting food, cooking or serving.

Especially bigger restaurants gift meals, and supermarkets provide raw food. Janis, the woman that I helped with the dishes, told me that thank God there is always enough food. The organization has been working for 20 years. They arrange the process and make it work. Many persons go every Monday to help in the preparation of the food.

This time my classmates and I went to serve the meal and clean dishes. While people arrive at the place, there is a young man who distributes the job for each volunteer. The roles were demonstrated to make the process work.

As a gratifying occupation, soup kitchen arrange the provision, and the volunteers' activities. In the way to make happy needed people.

Watch for the final essay here tomorrow.

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