There is something to be said about giving a helping hand. The wonderful feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment you get are like a drug. And that is what keeps people going back every now and then to volunteer. That’s why I like doing it. It not only serves a purpose, and it not only makes the people you help happy…it makes ME happy. It’s a win-win situation.
My first experience was at a home for the elderly. My SO and I signed up to go there for three hours to cook breakfast and entertain them. It was not what we were expecting at all. It was awesome! The group of volunteers was fun and we had an amazing time preparing the area and food. Each one of us was in charge of something different. After each would get done with their work they would check to see if someone else needed help or just chitchat to keep them company. Sometimes we would rotate just to keep things interesting. It was so organized and all of us were willing to help and get things done. The operation could not have ran any smoother!
After the seniors ate their breakfast, my SO and I led the a game of Bingo. My SO, being the only male, was the best for this part because of his loud voice, everyone could hear him and it made things easier. We played Bingo for a while because we had many prizes to give, mainly small practical items like toiletries. If someone won twice he/she had to choose a friend to pass on the gift. I liked that because it promoted a sense of sharing and caring.
After that they gave all the volunteers a big round of applause and many thanks for cooking and providing them with a nice time. The satisfaction we felt from their happy faces and gratitude was immense. They personally came and thanked us, and this one cute older lady, with big golden glasses and her cute gold earrings, came and gave us all a hug! Can you imagine?! It felt so great!
We all left from there with big smiles on our faces. Personally, I felt as if I were revived.
Chicago Cares is an amazing organization with so many opportunities to lend a hand and meet new interesting people. Check it out at http://www.chicagocares.org . There’s always something for everyone!