Tawheeda Shahab’s Story: Loving and Sharing Kindness

As a tutor at Broad Rock elementary, Tawheeda Shahab, of the VA Muslim Coalition knows what it means when the Micah motto says “love kindness”. She has found through volunteering that loving and sharing kindness is so much more rewarding than one could expect. 

Mrs. ShahabEvery time Tawheeda enters the school to tutor, she finds her experience worthwhile. “I think it’s wonderful when you see those kids out there. It perks you up. My moments with all the kids have been so rewarding,” Tawheeda shares, “they are so eager. When you ask the teacher which students are going first, all of them are putting their hands up saying ‘me first, me first!’ The students are glad to come and they want to learn. That makes me feel so happy.” That very feeling of being welcomed and wanted is just one of the rewards she feels she receives from being a tutor.

Beyond this feeling of being welcomed when sharing kindness at Broad Rock, Tawheeda has found that children know when they are genuinely cared for and show their appreciation in a manner that only a child knows how.  “They will thank you in a different way,” Tawheeda explains, “they show their gratitude when they come running to you and hug you. Sometimes, if I’m walking away or they are outside in the hallway going to class or lunch, they wave [excitedly] and that just makes your day.”

Volunteering as a tutor has also allowed Tawheeda to experience incredible encouragement in the form of a child who is really persisting in their studies. There was once a student who was struggling with reading simple sentences that she should have been able to read. “But she kept on trying.” said Tawheeda describing her determination, “She said ‘Mrs. Shahab I’m going to read it again. I’m going to read it again. Yes, I’m going to do the work.’ and she would keep on repeating it. And the energy and the strength she was putting into her learning process was so motivating for me. And there would always be that smile on her face.”  Although tutoring was rewarding for the student, Tawheeda found value in the experience as well.

From witnessing reading improvement to seeing the faces of smiling, learning children, the experience is priceless. “Everyone who comes here to visit, will volunteer in time because it makes you feel so good inside,” shares Tawheeda, “because it’s an innate nature within us to do good and help others.” However, Tawheeda warns, “Once you know how rewarding and good inside it makes you feel then you just get hooked. I warn [you], to come and experience it first. Come and experience it and give yourself some time with them.”

Because the simplest jester of kindness can mean so much for someone. “Although it doesn’t seem like a lot for you, for the person who just needed ‘that’ done at that moment, it makes a huge difference,” says Tawheeda. “And when you do look at child who’s putting in so much effort, who has so much energy towards learning, and that radiant smile, you feel you are rewarded enough. You just don’t need anything else.”

Thank you Tawheeda for loving and doing kindness and sharing your experience of it’s rich rewards. We couldn’t have said it any better.We invite you to become a volunteer with Micah and experience this for yourself. If you are interested in volunteering, please click here.


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