Volunteer? Yep, you heard me! Crazy I know, but someone actually wanted my help. And I'm so glad they did--I love it!
Starting in maybe November, I decided to contact the local homeless shelter, which I had previously toured for work, to see if they needed volunteers. They replied within hours and asked me to come right away. I really had no idea what to expect, and really had no idea how much I would enjoy every minute.
Our House is one of the most fascinating programs I've heard of. The CEO grew up with a rich, lawyer father but is clearly compassionate and determined. Instead of just giving the homeless a handout, the homeless must work to live there. The shelter maintains a savings account for them with their paychecks and teaches them how to transition to getting on their own. One advantage the residents have is that the shelter offers a cheap child care (approx $80 per week). Many who work in the child care do or have lived there themselves. When I go to volunteer, I work in the child care--rocking or feeding babies, reading, playing dress up, etc. Did I tell you I love it? I go every other Friday for about 3 hours. I truly wish I could go more often. The shelter also provides a dinner (all donated), has family housing, and job training, and a summer camp (where we went and did Girl Scouts last summer with the girls).
Today I was a little sad to find out that my two babies that I loved on in past months had moved out. This is Na'Kita from their facebook page.
She was the best snuggler. I of course wonder where she went. And I hope she is warm. Most of all, I hope she is happy and has a good life.
This is a photo of another buddy, Sam.He's so darn little, it's hard not to just love this little guy. Sometimes he can be a handful, but I would take him home in a heartbeat! And usually Sam is dressed to kill--he was hot this day and took off his preppy sweater. Today he was even sporting boat shoes.
Today I sat with a small toddler who was just there for her 2nd day. She wanted to be held and the teacher was glad to pass her off for a bit. I didn't mind! And the teacher kept telling me thanks and that she really needed me today. Right there is why I wanted to volunteer! She may have needed me, but I need them too. They just put life in perspective and make you grateful for what you got.