Words from a mom…. a volunteer… and a supporter of the AAYC

My name is Jen, but some people call me the “Snake Lady”. I have been a volunteer at the AAYC for the haunt since about August 2011. I never gave much thought to working in a haunted house before because of my social anxiety, but when I volunteered my snakes, I was asked to work. I could not say no to the people I had known for over 20 years and I thought it might be good for some issues of my own. I never dreamed it would be helpful to myself and that I would be helping others. When I first started doing this, I did not know I was going to be working with kids, let alone kids that might need or benefit from responsible adult support. I was not exactly sure of what I had just gotten myself into. After that first year, I decided I was hooked and that I have loved every minute of getting to be in this AAYC family, because that it what it is like….a big family. There are arguments and rough patches but the main thing is that everyone works as a team and supports each other, kids and adults alike.

It is a blast working with the kids at the AAYC haunt, year after year it is never the same. It is fun scaring people with the snakes but it is also a lot of fun getting scared by the kids. They know how to get you! I really enjoy watching these kids come out of their shell and get out there and scare the heck out of people. You can tell the kids enjoy it. I also enjoy getting the chance to teach the kids about the snakes and how to handle them. The kids absolutely love getting to handle them.

I really like helping the kids at the AAYC and being a mentor to them. I can be their friend but I am a parent figure too. I have kids of my own so I think that may give me a bit of an added advantage. I can relate to them or just give them a friendly, understanding ear to listen to them. This gives them things they may not have otherwise. Volunteering at the AAYC has been a great experience. I would like to think that I have helped at least one or two kids if not more to be better people and to see that even when everything gets them down, they can rise up and succeed.

Out of the kids that come to the AAYC for the haunt each year, some are new faces but a lot of them are the ones who come back from year to year. Of course, those are the kids you can actually see the positive changes and the growth. This makes it worthwhile too. The kids come there to the AAYC to have safe fun and a meal and to hang out instead of being out on the street getting into trouble. Being a parent volunteer at the AAYC sets a good example for the kids there as well as for my own kids. My own kids also come to the AAYC at times. I have been asked why I volunteer at the AAYC or why I work for “free”, or why I would be part of this group. I tell them it is because I like dressing up, I like getting to be silly, I love having fun and because I might just make a difference in someone’s life.

 

Blog By Jen Harman jen.harmon.5@facebook.com

 

Additional Info:

Jen Harmon has three children that are involved at the AAYC, all of which help out at the AAYC in some shape or form.

For more info about Mayhem www.fearamarillo.com  please like us on Facebook. www.facebook.com/aaycmayhem and follow us on Instagram @fearamarillo

For more info about the AAYC www.amarilloyouth.org  please like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/373aayc and follow us in Instagram @amarilloyouth

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  1. […] My Experiences at MAYHEM. […]

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