Kids and cameras a winning pair
by Molly Liss
For LC senior Melissa MacNeur, Tuesdays aren’t just another day of the week. With a little time and some disposable cameras, they become an opportunity for homeless children to do something they don’t often get a chance to do: be a kid.
Every other Tuesday during the summer, MacNeur, Key Club president, and some other Key Club volunteers dedicated two hours to the children of the Barton Center in downtown Indianapolis. The center shelters homeless families and individuals transitioning to become independent.
“A lot of the children there do not get the love and attention most kids need to grow as a normal child, so I wanted to give them this somehow,” MacNeur said.
MacNeur wrote the grant “My, Oh, My All About Eye” through United Way Youth as Resources. Stemming from her mutual love for art and helping children, the grant provides each child with a disposable camera.
MacNeur and other club volunteers then take the children to a park on their Tuesday visits to take pictures. The children range from ages 3 to 10 years old.
One club member who consistently volunteered during the summer is senior Kelsey Thornton.
“It was somewhat surreal because just little things like going to the park or playing Duck, Duck, Goose brought cheek to cheek grins to the kids’ faces,” Thornton said.
Using pictures the children took, MacNeur, Thornton and other club volunteers help the kids create a scrapbook.
Because all of the children are homeless, the number of children who attend varies from visit to visit, but one little girl named Fatima has been there from the start.
“Her mom told me she even skipped camp just to come to my project. It makes me feel so great knowing she enjoys it that much,” MacNeur said.
Now that the children’s school year has started, volunteers still visit every other Tuesday but only for one hour.
“Overall it’s been a really rewarding experience.” MacNeur said. “It really makes me feel like I’ve touched some kids’ lives this summer.”