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Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Heart!

I am fortunate to be able to volunteer and help some of my favorite people. The Independence Place of Alabama is a faith based non-profit program for exceptional adults.  Most of these adults have gone through the federal educational programs until they were 21, then suddenly there were limited options to encourage their social and recreational needs.

I stumbled into volunteering accidentally.  Well, not really accidentally. My cousin's wife, Debbie, is in charge of their daily operations, and Debbie asked me to help do just one thing. I said OK because you can't say no to Debbie. (It's not just me, no one can say no to Debbie.)  I don't even remember what we did the first time I went, some craft type thing I think, or maybe it was cooking something. I honestly don't remember. All I know is from the first meeting with these people I was hooked, and now I find myself actively looking for various things to fit their personalities and skill level.

This past week we made snowmen (and yes, snowwomen, Haley) for a Christmas bazaar where they will sell their creations as a fundraiser.  There is something so special about sitting with this group creating things with their hands, and while they are having fun, they know this will benefit their program. We had a great time doing it, and it turned out to be something they could do easily so I am going back Tuesday for some more snowman fun.  After all, as I was leaving Haley asked "Will you come back on Tuesday and have more fun with us?"  How could I possibly say no to that?

I guess the entire purpose of this post is to strongly encourage each of you to find whatever your thing is and give a little of yourself to whatever cause you choose.  For me, this is not giving anything but time, and a few bucks for materials.  What I get back is priceless.  There is no where else in my walking around 3-D life where people are so glad to see me, where I am greeted with hugs, and hear things like "I am so glad you're my friend, Anne."

Find your purpose and passion.  Life is too short to not share our time, talent and gifts!*

*My youngest child is now a Jr, in college, so I understand I have more time to give than most.  Everyone has a different level of time and resources, so no judgements!





13 comments:

  1. Besides Debbie I'd say no one can say no to Hayley either. 8-)

    I use to work with special adults where we use to live. There was a day program and I came in and did ceramics with the higher functioning folks. I don't know who got more out of that interaction, them or me.

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    1. I know I get so much more out of it than I could ever give. They are in incredible group of young adults.

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  2. I love the snowmen, Anne (and the snow-women too!) What a wonderful way to spend some time and enjoy some fun fellowship, and a wonderful way to help a worthy cause. :)

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    1. Dawn, I don't help them as much as they help me. I can never begin to say how important it is to be to be a small part of their time.

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  3. Very neat, so wish I could find my "thing" to volunteer at. Being self employed I actually have a pretty flexible schedule. We are signing up as bell ringers this year hopefully (hopefully as they usually only take clubs not individuals) for Sally Ann. I am not religious but they do lots in our community.

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    1. Everyone has a different 'thing". For a long time mine was volunteering at a food pantry, but I had given that up a while back. I had no idea I was looking for a new place, but I am so very happy I stumbled into this.

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  4. It has been a while since I worked with special needs folk. Right now, I picked up ten boxes from Chic-fil-A to fill for Christmas Child. I know it is not the same thing as working with actual people. Also, I am preparing for the senior at the nursing home, getting things he will enjoy at Christmas.

    You are correct about the gratitude from the people with whom you volunteer. Have fun.

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    1. You know, how ever we decide to help is what works for us. Help is help!

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  5. Great advice. There's nothing like helping others in your own special way. Are you going to give the rest of us a tutorial in making those snowmen? They are really cute.

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    1. I followed this basic tutorial except I drew the faces on with sharpie markers. I questioned the safety of using pins for the faces. I had buttons but only 1 person wanted them. The ones who wanted their caps to be polka dot used markers to make them
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB4jFqkn8MY
      I used sock that would fit an 8 year old girl. I had done several of the Christmas shoeboxes and bought them thinking we were doing Eastern Europe instead of Central America. They needed flip flops rather than shoes and socks. This was a great way to use my mistake

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    2. Thanks, I'll check out the link.

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  6. I am laughing because I am neither a gift nor gifted. I was just in the right place at the time I needed to be there. The gift is what I get from being around them. I am merely the receiver of a fantastic blessing!

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