A Good Dose of Giving, with Thanks

In this week of Thanksgiving, I want to share about how remarkably good it feels to volunteer my time and skills. For the first time in decades, I am in control of my own schedule and am committed to giving back to my community. While I have volunteered in many ways over the years, nothing has been as intentional, and with as much commitment as I currently have. This sense of service gives me immense purpose and fulfillment.

So, what am I doing? Over the last two weeks I’ve had these experiences…

I volunteered for the Mid-Ohio Food Collective as a pantry assistant. This entails packing boxes of food and loading the packed boxes into clients’ cars. The night I volunteered, there were so many of us available to meet the incoming cars, that I felt superfluous. I asked the Team Lead if there was something else I could do, another way that I could contribute. He was so grateful that I asked! I switched tasks and took on gleaning fresh donated produce from produce that had expired. While my interactions with clients was lessened, I felt good about the pallets I tackled “behind the scenes.”

A second volunteer experience took me to the Ronald McDonald House where I met the most fabulous 5th grader, and his dad. Together the three of us created a “no-sew” blanket. I learned that this young boy loves sports, math, all things Oklahoma (his home state) and blankets! His energy was contagious.

Lastly, I re-engaged with a volunteer group that I met when I was in-between jobs three years ago. This group is a Sewing Circle at a senior center in town. We meet weekly to sew products used in nursing homes: bibs, lap blankets, wheelchair bags, pillows, etc. This is such a kind group of women — all delighted to see me back behind a sewing machine. It felt like I had returned “home.”

I am thankful I have the time to volunteer and I’m thankful for the warm feelings that emerge when I do. I’m also grateful for Besa. I found the first two volunteer experiences on the Besa website. By joining Besa, you can find possibilities for volunteering without making a huge commitment. I try to volunteer twice monthly at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, and Besa makes that possible… I look at my calendar and match my schedule with what’s available. Besa also makes it possible to get engaged in a variety of opportunities. Lastly, the range of opportunities is terrific — something for everyone. I appreciate Besa!