Every semester, UIndy’s Circle K has their faculty and staff fundraiser. We go to individuals who work for the school’s house and do yard work for donations. I’ve done this for two years, but none have been as special as this one. I believe that is because none of them were spent with Psi.
The day started promptly at seven thirty in the morning. We all huddled next to three cars that would be transporting students. The temperature was barely reaching forty. As the clock struck, we broke into groups and were off. I could tell you about the first house and the church my group went to, but they never will compare to my experience at the third one.
The four of us pulled up in front of a house and I felt this sense of déjà vu. I thought we’d been here the previous spring, but couldn’t be sure. As we made our way into the backyard and saw the variety of beautiful blue bottles on the screened-in porch, I knew I was right.
The whole time I was making the trek, Psi was holding onto my arm. Psi is blind and I was terrified to take her with us, scared she’d get hurt, but she was so eager to join us and help. As we received instructions, she informed me she had never used a rake before. So I retrieved one and guided her to the big pile of leaves. Then I set her free, watching over her closely.
She would take a pile of leaves and run backwards, a smile lighting up her face. I informed her when to stop and took her back to the big pile so she could do it all over again. She kept up a conversation with me the entire time. We talked about our hopes and dreams, crushes we had on fellow students, and family as we weeded gardens and cleaned gutters.
I learned so much. Even with a disability, Psi isn’t any different from me. She’s someone who’s going somewhere; she could do what we could, but never was given the chance. We were holding her back out of fear. Psi made our hours of service the best and left me hoping to do more with her in the future. She made me realize that differences and disabilities don’t always dictate what people are able to do.
Shannon Gaskin was born and raised in the heart of Indianapolis. She is a psychology and creative writing major at the University of Indianapolis. Shannon loves to spend her time eating, volunteering, singing, and writing.