Who wants to volunteer?

It started in high school.. I was making my confirmation and needed 10 hours of volunteer work. My mom knew the lady in charge of volunteering at UMass Hospital, so the long waitlist was waived, and I met Jody and was greeted on my first day by Corey saying, “The more the merrier!”

I dreaded starting- I had low expectations for my co-volunteers. And I had to make a commitment of going 2 hours every Wednesday afternoon for an entire year.

I ended up doing it for 3. I loved walking the halls of the hospital and wondering what the faces I saw were afraid of or excited about. A co-volunteer, Kaite, was the one to point out that hospitals are just where people go because they’re sick, it’s where they go to get better. So in between the flower deliveries, dropping off magazines, and doing very mundane clerical duties, were hilarious times like the man who when directed to put 3 IC on the flowers he was delivering, put “3 I see you,” and extra hours were spent in the cafeteria after our time was done eating greasy chicken tenders and getting to know eachother. I love the two guys I worked with at UMass and still am lucky enough, 7 years later, to call them my best friends.

Volunteering is something that I want to continue to do. I have considered a volunteer year in the past, but I chose not to pursue it once I got offered a real job; I had enough volunteer experience I said, I need some professional experience. It was the truth- I’ve grown a lot in my ‘real job.’ But I also sought out a new volunteer opportunity. I have been volunteering as a Long Term Care Ombudsman. I had one placement which I did not enjoy going to very much at all. And I finally spoke up when a conflict of interest arose. Instead of letting me off that easy, the program director asked if I’d want to do a small rest home of 14 residents, and it sounded great right away. I agreed and went on my first visit on Friday. I love the set up and the people know all about my role, but they apparently don’t have any complaints. I hope they begin to trust me and if there is something, to tell me so that it can be resolved. But I was obviously very happy with the switch.

I think connections are something I look for in any experience. I could take a year and go volunteer in some new city, or I could continue to learn more about the city I love to call home. For now, I’m staying in. But I hope to keep growing up.

Thanks for the prompt

The Scoop

The Scoop

I was invited to join in on a family vacation to OBX, North Carolina. I said yes the second time. The first invite was from a boyfriend in college who was more in love with the idea of having a girlfriend than either of us was in love with each other. Luckily my boss at the time laid down the law- “we can’t let you take a week off at a time.” I was relieved and even more relieved when ultimately cut ties with him just short of our 1 year anniversary.

The next time was an offer I couldn’t refuse- a high school friend had gone in Summer 2015. I mentioned it to her later and she said, “We’re going again..come!” So I went and it was the most stressful relaxing time of my life.┬áJuli is one of 7 and the house was large and full. It took hours to get everyone on the same page about what we’re doing, where it is, and what we need to bring, and then an extra 30 mins to get everyone in the car. And no one was under 16 years old.

My favorite part of the trip was “The Scoop” where I saw acai bowls on the menu and noticed the sign informing me of the correct pronunciation just before it was my turn to order. I sounded like I knew what I was talking about- but I didn’t. We waited well after everyone had already finished their ice cream. Then the tan, blond, young boy who was behind the counter came out with my money offering it back. I said you don’t have to refund me, but he insisted, “it’s been like 15 minutes.” True. It had. I just assumed it was some magical thing that takes a LONG time to prepare. Well it was magical.