Volunteering is not a waste of time! (StoryADay Post)

A 22-year-old man decides to volunteer at a home for mentally disabled people, except that his parents object to him volunteering because they believe that helping mentally disabled people was a waste of time.

“You’re being unreasonable, mom,” said Drew Gallagher when his mother, Jill, objected to his plans to volunteer at a shelter that housed mentally disabled people.

“I’m not being unreasonable,” said Jill. “I’m just saying that helping those who can’t take care of themselves is a waste of time.”

“And besides,” said his father, Samuel, “there’s plenty of other things that you can do instead of working at that shelter. Have you considered the ASPCA?”

“You know I don’t like animals,” said Drew. “And what’s so wrong with helping mentally disabled people? They are people, yet they just need a bit of help.”

“I don’t want my son being involved in this,” said Samuel, “not when he has the potential to do so much more.”

“It doesn’t matter,” said Drew. “I’m 22 years old, not 16. I have the right to decide what to do with my time. If I want to help people who need help instead of going to parties or dating, then who are you to stop me? You’re my parents, not my friends.”

He left the room, wondering how things could have gone so wrong between him and his family. He thought about the next-door neighbors and their disabled son who never left the house, not even to go to school. That boy could have benefited from being at the shelter, where he would learn basic life skills and how to take care of himself instead of sitting at home watching TV all day.

He knew that this was right, helping people save their disabled family members from isolation, depression, and possible abuse from family members or caregivers. He owed it to that neighbor to work at that place.

Even if his parents saw it as a waste of time.

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