During a recent banquet at a personal care home in honor of its volunteers, I was touched by the selfless act of the other volunteers around me. Some were putting in thousands of hours of their time helping the residents. Considering it is a small nursing home, the number of volunteers present at the banquet was impressive.
I volunteer as a an entertainer on the fourth Friday of every month for one hour. Because the home is ran by the Seventh Day Adventist Church , Friday evenings is spent celebrating the start of Sabbath. My job is to lead the residents in song service.
As I sat there listening to the names of volunteers who had put in hundreds and thousands of hours, I felt guilty. You may ask why would I feel guilty if I am also a volunteer. Well the reason is that some days I do not feel like fulfilling my obligations. I know that I only have to show up just one Friday a month but sometimes it seems like so much. I know it isn’t, especially the fact that it is for just one hour but the effort of leaving the house to go there just doesn’t seem appealing. So that’s why I feel guilty. Guilty for thinking like that. Guilty for thinking one hour is my limit.
When I do show up, as I do I always do even if’s it’s not always willingly, I do have a great time with the residents. They show their appreciation for my being there and I feel as though I am adding something to their lives. The look on their faces is priceless. The hour usually comes way too soon.
Life is about being there for others. Helping those less fortunate, even if their situation is hopeless. It’s the reason we are here. Sometimes we may think that as long as we are here for our families and our friends, we are doing our part. I would not agree with this. There is nothing more fulfilling than time spent helping others. A nursing home, an animal shelter, no matter where you volunteer, you will go home feeling blessed. Try it.
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