I really don’t have a good response when asked by family and friends why I bother doing volunteer work. Once it was suggested for me to get paid instead of giving up my free time to visit seniors in a nursing home. Others were surprised when they found out I take my personal days to attend the volunteer meetings and even took a week’s vacation to take the training to become a certified volunteer for the Ombudsman office in NJ. So why do I do it?
Because I care.
There is no other explanation than the fact that I care about our elderly population and I feel we need to do more to show them they are just as important to us now as they were when they were teachers, politicians, nurses, judges, mothers, fathers etc. Why not go out and share my time with those who most likely have no one visiting them? Yes, even the cranky impatient ones who think I’m a spy for the nursing home get a smile and a wave from me. No matter how many dirty looks or unsmiling faces I come across from the staff during my visits, I will continue to show up whether they like me or not because I care.
It’s because I care that I showed up at the hospital when one of my favorite resident took ill and I when I didn’t see her during my visits I made it a point to find out where she was. I am so glad I did visit her because the smile on her face when she saw me and the surprise that I actually showed up at the hospital made me realize that caring has its rewards. I made her day, I made her smile and I made her happy and I am glad I was able to see her since I lost my dearest friend a few days later.
Because I care, I cried when she passed away, I cried when the same ones fail to recognize me since their memories are failing and I cry on my way home because for some, I am the only visitor.
Volunteers do care and we need more people to give back to our communities and help while we can because caring is free and it comes back to you in many ways!
Because I care, I had to write this.