September 16, 2012

Over a decade ago we brought our nine-year-old son home from the hospital after a traumatic and life-threatening event. Uncontrolled seizures, a drug-induced coma and stressful three months passed before he could come home. The ordeal had taken a toll on him, his brothers and his dad and me.

Although he came home with some disabilities that we’d work to correct for many years, we were so grateful that he was alive and on the road to recovery.

Once he came home Easter was approaching, and remembering other holidays when our son was in the hospital, I asked the epilepsy unit where our son had stayed if we could deliver spring baskets for all the patients on the unit. They agreed.

The boys were so excited to shop for and assembly the baskets. We bought stuffed animals, small toys, games and individual sized bags of candies. We filled our baskets and delivered them on Saturday.  The boys’ smiles were bigger than I’d seen in a long time. I realized how much it meant to all of us to give back, even in a small way like this.

Other than volunteering at my sons’ schools, I always thought volunteering was for later in life when I had more time. But the recent events stirred the volunteer gene. From then on, I made time to give back.

Maybe a life-altering experience is what it takes to get started. Sometimes volunteers help with hospice because a loved one was on hospice; a cancer survivor raises money for the Relay for Life; a parent helps an organization that benefits children with special needs.

The benefits of volunteering are immense. Often people find that they receive many rewards from volunteering.

I highly recommend finding your passion and get started.


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