Volunteering, or giving unselfishly of your time, abilities, and resources, doesn’t have an age limit whether someone is young or “more mature”. As a Girl Scout, I volunteered in a nursing home to work toward a badge. Not the most inspiring place. I did learn several things and appreciated most when the time came to leave for the day. Later, while working in a learning hospital, I volunteered evenings in a children’s ward. I remember most reading to an 8 year old burn victim, whose mother couldn’t bear to come visit her. I couldn’t imagine the mental, as well as the physical pain, this young girl went through. Again, it made me appreciate my blessings. So far, this doesn’t seem to encourage someone to volunteer, but I hope that I made a difference. When you volunteer, you’re affecting your own life and someone else’s.
As a young mother, I volunteered in church, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and school classes. These all provided ample opportunity for teaching, learning, assisting, and working with various age children and adults. It helps you to get to know teachers, administrators and other parents better.
As my children grew, I continued to volunteer in church helping in the nursery, with dinners, flowers, and helping out in various ways. This is one place I’ve continuously volunteered, and still do.
Not long ago, a friend of mine suggested I volunteer at one of the local hospitals. There was an orientation program with a tour of the hospital. I’m able to volunteer where I’d like to, for as many or as few hours, as often as I want. I volunteer in the Cardio Vascular unit. It’s not a difficult job, and it’s had its’ perks. I enjoy piecing and quilting. I had the opportunity to meet a lady who has won several awards at local quilt shows, and we’ve become friends. I also met a woman who does long arm quilting for people. We had a lot to talk about. My main responsibility is to escort patients to areas where they have appointments, provide a wheelchair if one is needed, and help people find various locations in the hospital. Even walking down the hall, you may see someone who is not sure where they’re going and appreciate help with directions. It also helps you to realize how well off you are, understand difficulties other people have, and count your blessings.
No matter where you volunteer, church, a class, a hospital, nursing home, homeless shelter, food pantry or an organization, you do make a difference. Quite often you realize abilities and talents that may have been hidden or forgotten. When you realize you’ve made a difference, learned something about yourself or someone else, or see things in a different light, that’s when you also feel satisfaction.