The love and compassion we show each other on a daily basis can make such a huge difference. Up until I started a family of my own, I had the time and enjoyed doing volunteer work. My favorite volunteer job was working with athletes in Special Olympics. I helped to coach swimming, weights, as well as track & field. Working with the wonderful athletes of Special Olympics in my community was very rewarding, and we had so much fun! I really do miss doing volunteer work.
As a matter of fact, a friend and I were just talking about the “power of touch” and I was telling him that I’ve wanted to volunteer for so long as a “baby cuddler”. Many hospitals have a program for people to volunteer their time to cuddle babies. Unfortunately not all preemies, newborns, and small children have someone available to make sure they get the proper amount of cuddle time that they need. Parents may be running ragged with the effort of hanging onto their jobs, caring for their other children, and running back and forth to the hospital, or maybe the parents may just need a break to breath! In other cases, a child might not have a parent available for one reason or another. If the child has been taken into custody from the mother or being adopted. There could be a variety of reasons. Baby cuddles are so sweet, and I think this would be soothing and healing as much for the volunteer, as it would be for the baby or small child.
For those of us with health issues of our own, it may be impossible to commit to a time slot or do volunteer work outside of the home, due to pain, fatigue, and other symptoms we may be experiencing. However, it you want to be able to give back in some way, there are many ways you can do this, without even leaving your house, or making a commitment to a schedule. As a matter of fact, many of us do this everyday without even realizing that we are making a difference with our time. For example, being a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on for someone who is going through a difficult time, or sending someone an encouraging email/card to let them know that you are thinking of them, are simple acts of kindness. Those are just a couple of ways to give of yourself, which most of us do in our daily lives already.
Here are a few more ideas that I wanted to share:
~ When getting rid of clothes or items such as games, puzzles, toys or books that are still in good condition, donate them to a woman’s shelter, a local charity, or inquire to see what your local hospitals can make use of.
~ Pass along some outgrown baby items to a friend who will be able to use them
~ Donate your Canadian Tire money, Airmiles, or other rewards program points to someone who may be in need
~ Be a foster home for a cat or dog, waiting to be adopted
~ Knit little blue and pink hats for newborns & donate them to the hospitals
~ Knit or crochet “blankies” to donate to children who are sick, and may have long stays at the hospital
~ Knit hats, mittens, and/or scarves for underprivileged children
~ Help a child you know with reading
I would love to hear your ideas! Please add to this list with your own ideas, in the comment area!