Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Volunteering Made Simple
I suppose I am being called to action. My body is getting stronger, and my ability to leave home for longer periods has increased! Before I left my home in May to have my spinal decompression, I was living on my own, and once in a while I would go down to Sacred Heart Community Service to chat with my friends down there. Every time I went there I asked silly questions like "do you need any help?"
They always say yes. By attending their volunteer orientation, they got this idea that me asking for something to do suggested that I wanted/needed something to do, to help them. They never even felt concerned about taking my time. Never once did they stop to think maybe I should be busy somewhere else.
I was sometimes even uncomfortable stopping to help out. This is not a joke. Whern I am feeling most selfish, the only cure is to become involved in helping others. I get good at disappearing into my own little world, a special place where everyone knows me. So, I walk to the back, and they alwauys have clothing to fold, food to pack. I even get restless helping, have to fight my own desire to break away.
One thing that makes it possible to stay, though, is the realization that someone to help is always missing. Clients keep coming regardless. Amazing how inspirational it is to keep working when the clothing racks keep emptying. So many people love helping, and yet the work never stops coming. They always have work to do.
Still, my hand are challenged, and stocking clothing racks can be difficult for me. One day, while enjoying a coffee and pastry in the break room when I met another worker. This is teacher Kathy who invited me to help her ESL class instead. My fingers were begging for mercy, and I knew this was a line of service I could do without hurting myself. Those little clip pants hangers were more than I could handle.
It has been eight months since I helped there. The supervisor for Metro-Ed said I was in violation! I did not quit because of my surgery. I quit, because they made this process more complicated. To volunteer they want me to apply. They also wanted my fingerprints to make sure I am not a felon!
I decided I need to go back. I called them, and no one called back. Then, in one day, the office of Metro-Ed called me. I had been calling during Christmas break. They enthusiastically told me they want me to come back. The teacher called my home to invite me back, and today, while at Wal-Mart, a young lady approached me and asked me in English if I know her parents. The couple with her were from the class, and were excited to tell me they are still learning English...
Most assuredly I am being called to go back. Hard to stay away knowing I am actually wanted back, by the students as well, as the teacher. The time is right. I just have to get this paperwork started, so I can return to work.
Thank you for reading.