What Motivates You To Be A Volunteer?
There are so many awesome and rewarding places to volunteer!! There are opportunities that take just a few hours while others offer valuable training that can last a lifetime.
One of the places I loved volunteering was a hospice. Individuals in hospice are expected to live less than 6 months. Some are young, some are old. At first it sounded like a terribly depressing place to volunteer, I only chose it because of a college project I was working on.
Once my project was done I didn’t want to leave so I continued for a couple more years!
The hospice provided us lists of individuals to choose from so we could be matched with people we had something in common with or with someone who really touched our hearts.
One of the women was especially memorable for me. She was so frail, simply skin and bones. She could no longer walk and completely depended on a wheelchair and assistance from the nurses. The site of her frail body is forever etched in my mind.
During my first few visits with her she was extremely mean. I already knew all of her children had abandoned her and she was no longer married. I also knew she never had visitors and that is why I chose her, but wow was I ready to be another one in her life that left!!
BUT, then I thought deeply on why I chose her. I couldn’t imagine being in her place! So weak, so lonely, so scared. Only odd memories fleeting through her head, ones that made little sense, some that shed light on how hard her life was.
So I stayed and found that meeting her during dinner was much more enjoyable. I could focus on helping her eat instead of being at her bedside trying desperately to find something to talk about.
At dinner I went along with her conversations, even though they made little sense. I started to see a little light in her eyes. She loved that someone took the time to listen to her. That positive feeling hit strongly for both of us. I no longer dreaded the days I had to meet her, I looked forward to them. I felt a loss when our meetings came to an end, but I was so glad to have provided her some much needed friendship. RIP.
Volunteering can be very rewarding and there are so many people that really need a little extra hand.