Soup Kitchen

In 1981, hunger became a common issue in Waterbury’s downtown area. To help stop people hunger, Father Cascia established a soup kitchen in Waterbury’s downtown Hispanic area. Every day people from local organizations and churches come to volunteer and help feed the hungry citizens of Waterbury.  This soup kitchen is dedicated to helping people in any way possible, they even offer referral services in the time of need for a job. People are open to financially support the soup kitchen or even give food donations. Over one hundred people come to eat there everyday for breakfast and lunch.

About a month ago, my cousins and I volunteered to help out at the soup kitchen through our local church. We arrived there at about 8:00am and people were already waiting outside in a massive line. Once my cousins and I got into the kitchen we started cutting chicken and potatoes. I was surprised how industrial the kitchen looked and that so much food was being cooked. All of the people were very nice, and extremely thankful. It felt good to help people. Working at the Soup Kitchen put my life and what I should be thankful for into so much perspective. I realized that I should be happy to get new clothes, or have a bed to sleep in. It made me think of how much my friends and family have, like to be able to go to school, or even have a phone. I mean, we all take things for granted sometimes, but it feels good to take a step back and realize what we all have. Going to the soup kitchen was a great experience to realize how much more thankful everyone should be.



Helping Hand

Every Monday after school I go into Waterbury to volunteer for the Special Olympics Program. I teach children with special needs to play many sports game. Some of these games include Volleyball, Basketball, and Soccer. These are just a few of the sports that are offered. Students participate in many sports from skiing to softball. It runs all year round and is a very popular organization. The PAL (Police Activity League) association is open to all kids ages 8-18. We work with the children, and help them to play in tournaments against other towns for championships, titles and medals.

 I find this organization to be very inspiring. PAL is a great way for kids with special needs to get involved in their community and play sports with other kids. This last weekend I was able to participate in a volleyball tournament for Special Olympics. Most of the kids in this program are not exactly capable of serving a ball, or passing the ball over the net. This experience has really made me be grateful for what I have, and the things that I am capable of. I enjoy this experience so much, because I feel that if I can help them, I am helping the people who are unable to do many things.



Most people have never seen a paintball game.  Fewer have ever participated in one.  However, paintball, which was invented about 30 years ago, is now one of the world’s most popular outdoor extreme sports with millions of people playing it in over forty countries.   Some people play in leagues including professional leagues like the PSP league shown in this video.  Others show up to fight by themselves or with their friends.  Sometimes they fight against their friends.  I’m here to teach you what paintball is and what, in my opinion, is the best place for paintball battles in Connecticut.   Now, paintball is a sport where you take a gun, not a real gun, but one that shoots paintballs using compressed gasses.  The paintballs are put in a container, called a hopper,  attached to the top of the gun. While you are shooting, the paintballs are fed from the hopper into the gun.   To shoot the gun, you must get a small CO2 tank, fill it with pressurized CO2 gas, and put it on the end of the gun, or else the gun will not fire.

Now, how do you play the game?  In paintball, you can play many games including woodsball, speedball, or Blister Ball.  Woodsball you play in a natural outdoors area, like a forest, while in speedball you play on a field with man-made obstacles.  In woodsball and speedball, you are out of the game when you get hit by a paintball and it splatters.  Once you are hit, you raise your gun in the air, yell you’re out and go to the dead zone for the rest of the game.  In blister ball, you play until you run out of ammo no matter how many times you get hit.  To protect you, when you are playing paintball, you have to wear a mask whenever you are on the paintball field.

Now, it is time to talk about the paintball battlefields in Connecticut.  Today we will be reviewing Extreme Paintball and Hogan’s Alley.  Extreme Paintball is located in Waterbury, CT while Hogan’s Alley is in Meriden.  I’m telling you this, because some people would rather go to the paintball field that’s closer by instead of going to one that is further away but potentially better. I believe that playing at Extreme Paintball is better than playing at Hogan’s Alley because, even though Hogan’s has speedball and woodsball battlefields to play on, and Extreme Paintball only has woodsball battlefields, playing there is just better.  Woodsball is a lot more fun than speedball and Extreme Paintball has six different Woodsball fields that are all quite different.  Also, at Extreme Paintball, you can play against people that have the same level of experience as you do.  At Hogan’s Alley, however, you could end up fighting against people who are much better, even professionals.  They fight with better gear and higher gas pressures which, believe me when I say this, you’re going to be getting a lot of welts when they shoot you.  So if you want to have more fun, go fight at Extreme Paintball.

~Duncan McNeil