Chelsea Quezergue:Volunteering at Nico Nico Tomato

My recent weeks at NikoToma have gone more smoothly than the weeks preceding them I think.  Perhaps that can be attributed to me getting over the initial disappointment I harbored about not being able to play with children.  I was under the impression that we [the volunteers] would be doing activities with children every week, but I quickly learned that wasn’t the case.  However, as one of my teachers commented, it is volunteer work after all, and more often than not, volunteers have to do rather less-than-pleasant tasks, so「仕方がない」.  If we did not do those small, tedious tasks—using toothpicks to pick up microscopic cutouts of animals and painstakingly glue them to bite-sized paper handbags; making sure to find a “balance” when arranging goody bags, lest the aesthetics of the candy be ruined, even though the kids are just going rip it open in crazed excitement —who would?

At this point, I know it seems like I’m actually belittling the program with sarcasm, but I’m not.  I’ve grown to genuinely appreciate (if not enjoy) the things we do at NikoToma, whatever they may be, because I know we are providing the volunteer group with help that it needs.  Besides that, it just so happens that all of (or almost all of) the students in KCJS from Boston University participate in this CIP, and this has instilled a certain amount of pride in me about being a part of it.  And that’s enough to make me happy about going.

3 thoughts on “Chelsea Quezergue:Volunteering at Nico Nico Tomato

  1. It sounds good that you’re happy with it in the end, although it isn’t what you expected. Have you been able to form good relationships with the people that you work with there, even though you don’t get to work with children?

  2. Although it took some time to adjust, it seems that you’ve grown to appreciate your time at NikoTomo. Are you hoping to in a hospital or work with children in the future? I’m not sure how sick these kids are but I’m sure they all appreciate your hard work!!

    • Well, most of the children are terminally ill. Some of them have only ever seen the corridors of the hospital…it’s their life. NikoToma takes pride in its work because they are creating memories, a childhood, and by extension, some sort of normalcy for these children. It’s really a beautiful thing. I actually applied for an internship at a hospital in Boston, so we’ll see if that ends up happening. But I didn’t decide to work at NikoToma so much for the hospital setting, but rather because I like working with kids. I have two jobs back at school working with kids. It’s definitely my passion.