By Serena Liu
On November 21, several YES members visited the Silver Gardens Senior Apartments to give out food, and Thanksgiving cards, and perform wonderful entertainment. This is the third year in a row in which YES members come and spend time with the seniors during Thanksgiving to show their gratitude towards the elders who’ve contributed to their community for a long time. Sally Wang first introduced the volunteers as they prepared to pass out the meals. The seniors enjoyed chicken, baked beans, mashed potatoes, mac-and-cheese, and homemade cakes and pies from YES members. After food and refreshments were passed out, members chatted with the seniors, who were welcoming and friendly, eager to take photos. “Helping the seniors was an amazing experience. I was happy to be able to fill them with welcome and warmth,” said Jean Gan.
YES volunteers followed by passing out Thanksgiving cards previously made by the members at the monthly meeting. Sally continued introducing our talented violin soloists, piano soloists, and singers. Since this is a highly anticipated annual community event, YES members cherished their opportunity to serve the elders by gathering their talents and preparing many musical entertainments. The seniors cheerfully clapped and hummed to the familiar tunes. Finally, we invited a group of talented YES members who gathered together as a mini orchestra and rehearsed their prepared pieces for at least 6 hours the past few days. The ensemble played the famous Chinese song “Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin” by Teresa Teng and “Yuletide Celebration” by Wingert-Jones Chamber Orchestra.
“I’m glad that all the seniors enjoyed all the food, cards, and entertainment we prepared for them,” said Sally. “It was a very meaningful service opportunity.” Many seniors and workers at the senior home said that they could not wait for YES members to come back next year. “This was a valuable opportunity to give back to the community,” said Amie Zhang. “I’m looking forward to coming back.” YES members felt content and appreciated, grateful for the seniors of our community.
As the president of YES Jeanette Yang emphasized at the YES Kick-Off meeting, the goal of our organization is to “empower the youth to embrace leadership roles and contribute to the community.” YES hopes to discover more opportunities for our members to reach out to their community in their journey of becoming well-rounded and experienced young leaders of society.