Ask A Volunteer


Vicki lives in Jacksonville, FL and is the single Mom of a 12 year old daughter and a 16 year old son. She is a make up artist/stylist and makes costumes for dancers, the theater and pageants, and is an avid volunteer. Her daughter is a Regional winner (and $1000 scholarship recipient) in the Kohl’s Kids Who Care competition and her son is State winner for Subway High School Heroes. Both kids each average about 1000 volunteer hours per year. As a family they do a lot of community service and the kids have both taken that and gone off on their own creating Not For Profit organizations and taking on projects of their own.

Sydney J. Harris said “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem …” over the years, this message has stuck with me. I believe everyone has it in them to help, many just have no idea where to start.

When I was 15 years old I picked up the phone and called a grocery store and asked them to donate a sheet cake for a Valentine’s Day party my younger sisters (9 and 12)) and I wanted to have on the children’s ward at the hospital. We got a drugstore to give us some candy and McDonald’s provided us with that big orange cooler filled with their famous drink. We had all of our friends over and made tons of cards.

On Valentine’s Day our Mom drove us to pick everything up and then to the hospital. The kids who were able to participate had a ball and for the ones who couldn’t, we delivered things to their rooms. As an afterthought we had thrown in the construction paper and crayons and such and let the kids make cards for their friends and family. They had a BALL.

As much as they enjoyed it, we got ten times more from it. For weeks after we would smile and wink at each other and know that one of us was having a warm fuzzy moment. Knowing we had, for just a little while, made these kids forget about being sick; helped them think about something other than shots and surgeries and what tomorrow might bring.

Making a difference doesn’t have to be something huge. People don’t start out by building schools in Africa or raising a million dollars for cancer research. It starts small… with one person, one hour, one day.

Comments

  1. Julie B. says

    Wow Vicki, your story is exceedingly inspirational, and your kids volunteer over 100 hours a year? Simply wonderful! I don’t have children yet, but when I do, I will definitely follow your lead! Right now I volunteer with my lovely longhaired dachshund, Ralphie, with Caring Canines Therapy Dogs here in central Florida (I’m also a Floridian!), and we visit hospitals, nursing homes & rehab centers, schools, libraries, and Camp Boggy Creek, which is an exceptional camp for severely ill and/or disabled children. I am also currently investigating getting him certified as a READing dog to help out with the local schools and libraries, so we can’t wait for that! I don’t think we rack up as many volunteer hours as you though!

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