Once a month among the humming sewing machines and sergers, whooshing of the steam irons and the whiz of the shears and rotary cutters on fabric, a room full of caring volunteers produce bright, colorful, pillow cases for hundreds of patients at the local children’s hospital. Each case is packaged with a note of encouragement to the young patients.
During a recent day of volunteering at a local craft market, presenting our mission of making these gifts, one of the recipients stopped by our booth to offer her gratitude and appreciation. Another volunteer shared how our mission became an unstoppable goal of doing more and more for these precious patients. Such sharing from patients and fellow volunteers validates my rationale and desire to be a part of this team.
I also look forward to Thursday at the local food pantry and resource center. We gather as a group of volunteers to pray for the clients God is sending that day; to satisfy their physical needs, while also encouraging their hearts and minds with the love of God.
Additionally, I’m honored and privileged to be able to serve people in our county as a Casa; Court Appointed Special Advocate for children currently in foster care. These are only a few of the volunteer opportunities God has bestowed upon me. There are numerous others which are placed along my life’s path.
While meeting someone for the first time, whom I will call “Mr. T”, his criticism and judgement were harsh about my involvement in volunteering. My extensive volunteer work has been a tremendous blessing to give back to others.
Even though I began volunteering with children’s events and church when my children were young, my volunteer hours were limited as my husband and children were among my greatest priorities. When my life changed seven years ago, I knew the best way to compensate for my loss was to give back to others with needs greater than my own. It always astounds me when individuals are perplexed as to why I would give time to helping others.
Chuck Swindoll exquisitely explained why we do for others in one of his devotions. “In the gallery of His priceless work, the Lord God has included a portrait of vast value. It is the portrait of a servant carefully painted in words that take time to understand and appreciate…”Blessed are the merciful,” Jesus said. Mercy is concern for people in need… Offering help for those who hurt . . . who suffer under the distressing blows of adversity and hardship. Those special servants of God who extend mercy to the miserable often do so with much encouragement because they identify with the sorrowing—they “get inside their skin.” Rather than watching from a distance or keeping the needy safely at arm’s length, they get in touch, involved, and offer assistance that alleviates some of the pain.”
I Peter 4:10 NKJ “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”