My first day volunteering at Catholic Charities.
I started this blog with the intension of bringing awareness to the very real visits from God that we get while doing corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Doing good works not only helps others but it helps those who work.
So it was my first day at Catholic Charities, and I should start at the beginning, because this was a process. I went to a lunch for Catholic Charities back in November, and it was there that I knew they we’re on to something. No longer would I be helping others for a day only to find them back at my doorstep the next, Catholic Charities is serious about ending poverty; by attacking it at it’s root. They have a program, and I would invite you to look here if you are interested.
So I was sold on the program, step one. Step two, Catholic Charities has a “Know Poverty Hour”, which was a lunch spent learning about the many sections of Catholic Charities. So I was ready to go! Not quite yet. Step three, they then asked me to be an ambassador, someone who brings more people to a “Know Poverty Hour”. This might seem annoying, but honestly, if a person is interested in a church, a movie, or a charity, they should be exited enough to invite others. So I did, my second “Know Poverty Hour”. After (immediately) this second hour, step four, I went into a short training session (45 min.) so that I could get to know what would be involved in volunteering. So ready to volunteer? Not so fast. Step five. At this volunteer orientation session, we learned about what was expected from us, and what sections of Catholic Charities needed help. I chose transportation since I love to drive. Step six, an hour long meeting with the transportation director, a productive hour that introduced me to the specifics of giving rides to the needy. Step seven was something I knew was coming, the paperwork. All organization in the litigious age must have mounds of paperwork, background checks, and even a defensive driving course. Now I’m ready! Not so fast, step eight, today I trained with one of Catholic Charities full time driver. After a productive day, I was asked once more if this was a job I would be interested in, I said yes, and I got my volunteer badge, shirt and hat! I started in November and now in July I am an official volunteer.
So you might ask…why would I go through all this!!??
- My previous experience with chairs has been less than great. Most of the time I am given few instructions and make it up as I go. 90% of the time I stand around watching others, I have only once felt like I really did something to help real people get out of real poverty. Catholic Charities may be a process, but today I helped real people get out of real poverty. I really feel like I did something today! I helped 3 people to dialysis, and took three to work. I am part of something that is making a difference in peoples lives. Seeing those I helped, talking with them, getting a glimpse of their struggles kept God’s wishes for us to help one another front and center in my life. This morning was not about me and my issues, it was about others. This sounds counter intuitive but helping others and putting my life aside for four hours really helped me. Don’t take my word for it, try it and see!
- Catholic Charities is a well oiled machine. Gone are the days of standing around and doing the same old charitable “thing’, arrived is a place that seems endless in possibilities for good works! Every step of this long process I have had great people leading the way; it’s been a pleasure getting to know everyone! Got a lonely life? Come to Catholic Charities and work.
- I needed it. After being in charge for 15 years, it was good for me to sit back and let others tell me what to do. At times humbling, but restful would be the best definition here. Plus, we, as Christians, need to do more volunteer work. Our usual routine, work 5 days, rest one and go to church on Sunday and then repeat is no way to live a life to God! Make time to serve others, at least twice a month, this was my decision when I was sitting in that luncheon so many months ago.
That was my day and I urge you to try it!