There are many pieces that 'make up the whole' in all of us, and one that I would enjoy sharing is 'Volunteering-Over-The-Years'.
When we lived in California, I worked full-time, and would go after work to the local Police Station and work on the 'Truancy Program' for a local school district. I made phone calls off of pages of Print-Outs (from the schools) to families, and hoped that I was able to reach parents, and not their children, to find out the reason for their absence. After awhile you could distinguish which parents were 'covering' for their children, and which parents were really 'surprised' - so you knew who might end up on your Print-Out next week or next month, and whose name you probably would not see again! I was not always great on kiddos imitating parent's voices, unless if they were 'really bad' where it was too funny, but obvious, that they were faking an adult's voice. After doing this volunteer position for a year, I was put in charge of the 'Evening Truancy Program', so that was a special honor for me, and especially because I felt it was helping the school, the child, and the parent. To learn and to grow was huge, and my thought was: An Education was the "Gateway to Their Future". Truly a "Feel Good" moment for me . . .
Also, a decade or so later, when we moved back to California, and brought my Mom with us (she was '90' at this time), I worked part-time to be available for her schedule of appointments and errands, as she was no longer driving. So, again I was available to volunteer, and did it once-a-week for the local Food Bank in our town. I cannot tell you how much I learned from that experience, and a 1/2 day a week, was gone in a flash! I learned to bag fresh veges or fruits that farmers would drop off, learned to stock shelves with canned goods, learned to pack bags and cartons for different sized families, learned to measure and bag beans and rice that were always part of the bags or cartons of food, and learned to greet the families (mostly Moms and kiddos) who came to get food. I learned the computer software at the front counter with the window, and talked with many folks, even some who did not speak good English. Everyone was kind and nice, and families that came monthly, soon became recognizable faces. Another "Feel Good" moment . . .
Allie Angeloni - A 3-Year Oro Valley Hospital Volunteer
Fast-track to today, in Arizona, where I've volunteered at our local Oro Valley Hospital here in town. I worked a 5-hour shift one day a week from 7 a.m. to 12 noon. I was in OP (Out-Patient) Surgery, and admitted folks that had appointments that day, before they went to the 'next window' for a paid employee to verify insurance and get co-pays. I got to transport patients to other floors for tests, got wheelchairs for other patients, and gave paperwork to the Nurse's Station (behind the scenes). After doing this job for a few years, I got to do so much more - I could order supplies, call for Maintenance for bathroom issues, call for coffee pot repairs, take family members of patients to other Secured Hospital Areas, and realized that I was 'transforming' a simple volunteer position into a 'job'! Yes, another "Feel Good" moment . . .
So WHO was the LUCKY ONE in all of this 'Volunteering Over the Years' - the recipients of whatever my Services were for that particular organization? NO - I WAS THE LUCKY ONE - I COULD GIVE OF MYSELF AND IT MADE A DIFFERENCE - SO I WAS BLESSED - AND HUMAN, TOO . . .