Daily Prompt: Volunteer

via Daily Prompt: Volunteer

Volunteering can brighten your life in so many ways! There are so many opportunities out there to choose from.

In High school over the summers I worked as a Camp Counselor. Yes, we did get paid, but the pay was very  minimal compared to what could have been made at a regular summer job. The monetary gain might have been minimal, but the other rewards were priceless.

Having heartfelt conversations with children. Ones that were scared, ones that had bad home lives and felt like they could trust you enough to open up to. Seeing the sparkle in a child’s eye when they swam for the first time and cheering with them. Feeling the joy when a child who had broken the rules all the time, turned the corner and thanked you for not giving up on them. Yes, I still remember that hug and the smile that spread from ear to ear across that child’s face.

It was a stretching experience as we  would always have a week of having the mentally handicapped come to Camp. I can say that was one of the most exhausting and wonderful weeks of the summer.

There are still campers that I remember in my mind. A older man who was short like me, totally bald but had the biggest smile all the time! He only said a few words but his personality was so catching. He was known  as the camper who could hold his breath for a CRAZY amount of time under water. He gave us a scare in the beginning, but we learned. He just loved to float in the water.

Then there was the sweet lady who walked in baby steps, there was no hurrying her. She took in everything she saw as she was walking,not like us who get so busy we miss the roses as we rush by. This lady saw each rose, each butterfly and each penny that laid on the ground. Every time she did she would rub her hands together and smile as she let out squeals of excitement. How could you not stop and embrace the moment with her. Her excitement was contagious.

Last of all, I can’t forget the camper from that week that serenaded me with a song during the Talent Show that we always have at the end of the week. Yes all week he had called me his girlfriend, but I had no idea that he was going to dedicate a Elvis Presley song to me! “Love me Tender”, still makes me think of that memory when I hear it! My cheeks don’t get as red anymore, but I still remember it. 🙂

After  High School I chose to go to South Carolina for a year and volunteer as a Teacher’s Aide at a Elementary School. Our living expenses were taken care of . It was a group of 10 of us that lived in a house and volunteered at different places in the area. I could make a whole other post about that year, but suffice to say for now, that it was one of the best years of my life! I didn’t earn a penny, but my heart was filled with the richness of new friendships and other things. A year I will never forget.

One Christmas a few years back we went and delivered meals to the ones who couldn’t make it to the Soup Kitchen. To see how happy they were over a simple meal, I know left an impact on my children. It made a impact on me.

The impact that volunteering can leave on you is what you can’t put a price on.

Take the time to volunteer, it is something you really won’t regret!

7 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Volunteer

  1. for years until I took a leave of absence I taught at the Karate school voluntarily, when I took the leave of absence they paid me a little when I came in and substituted then this past February I was hired as an instructor.

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  2. Well said! I would like to add that most of us (if not all of us) are well aware of “soup kitchens”; of food tables for those who cannot pay; of kids who get to Summer Camp on the strength of somebody’s financial donation; of families who have a Christmas dinner and presents for their children courtesy of a help organization; basic computer skills being taught to those who never completed school; organizations that not only prepare people for job interviews, but also provide them with the clothes for same interviews….. and the list goes on and on and on!

    We all know about the various help being offered to the underprivileged, the traumatized or otherwise socially challenged individuals, but I believe that once you have volunteered for any of those organizations, you will see the issues as a revelation, You will realize that you never really knew the depth of what happens on the basis of volunteers, and you will have a greater understanding of the individuals that depend on such services being available to them.

    As an example. If you volunteered in a capacity that worked with people living on the street, you may see that the only difference between them and you is perhaps uncontrollable events in their lives. Nobody announces that their future goal is to live on the street. They are there because of circumstances and, when you understand the variety of such circumstances, you will see street people quite differently.

    Liked by 1 person

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