Since we started volunteering with the House, we have met an army of kindness. A wide variety of volunteers, ranging from the front office to yoga instructors, storytellers to bakers and chefs, techno wizards (thank goodness for us!) and even Burpee-doers extraordinaire, to name just a few, who are fully engaged and committed to the House and its families. We knew we wanted to be here, but what could we possibly have to offer? What need could we meet that wasn’t already being met, what could we do? Hmm think think think…ya that got us nowhere fast.
It would have been super easy to say probably nothing, and just walk away. We were naive and for some reason initially thought that help had to mean financial support. Don’t get us wrong- money is essential, appreciated and put to phenomenal use- it’s just not the only thing that is needed. So, what did we have? Well we had enthusiasm, we had time and we had a love of baking, not to mention co-workers who felt we were not contributing at all to their healthy eating habits. We’re kinda messy, a titch loud, love sprinkles and chocolate but aren’t particularly fond of dishes. Not a great resume so far but, lucky for us, the House had three kitchens, a well-stocked pantry, a bazillion mixing bowls and plenty of stellar helpers. Perhaps we did have something we could bring to the table.
Once there, we discovered that we had plenty to offer. In addition to baking, we could listen, really listen, to the stories of the families; we could offer a bit of respite to parents and we could laugh and be laughed at. We could give support. We could become advocates for the House and what it stands for. In finding out what we could give, we became connected, and now every time we walk away we leave with more than we brought.
There is an African Proverb that says, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito.” When it comes to volunteering, no contribution is too small. If you’ve ever wondered what do I have to give or what can I do that is uniqueor even what is that big House on the corner all about, we encourage you to contact Kristin Wong at Kristin@rmhnorthernalberta.org.