At the risk of sounding completely dramatic, I have to admit that my Volunteer Odyssey week is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. When I really think about this fact I am ashamed. I feel awful knowing that volunteering for one simple week has completely surpassed any volunteer work I have done in the past. Sure, I have helped out with events here and there but I have never really devoted much time to the efforts. Throughout my week I can say with 100% certainty that I gained so much more from the experience than I gave. I have been introduced to and learned about tons of non-profit agencies throughout the city. I have also had the privilege of meeting tons of new people; ranging from fellow volunteers to newspaper reporters. All of these people have taught me invaluable things about living in Memphis.
I have returned to one of my placement sites to volunteer since finishing my odyssey week and I hope to continue helping more of the agencies in the future. One thing that has kept me from volunteering in the past is the thought of dragging my three year old along. I now know that there are tons of opportunities for me and my daughter to volunteer together. My hope is that she grows up with the feeling of awe one gets from volunteering.
If any of you have been following my previous blogs you know that I have been on the hunt for a job recently. I am very, very, very, happy to announce that thanks to Volunteer Odyssey and the direct and indirect networking I did through the program, I received several leads that followed through to job interviews! It gets even BETTER! That doesn’t seem possible, right? Well, you are looking (okay, maybe not actually looking) at one of the new social workers employed by Ave Maria House. In case you are wondering, Ave Maria is a Catholic based nursing home in Bartlett. I won’t tell you too much about it right now….maybe one day you will read about it from a new blogger 🙂 My daughter is especially happy about this as she now gets to go to big girl school. Apparently I am not very fun to stay at home with.
I guess this is farewell for now. Maybe we will meet again one day if I am selected for some kind of “Volunteer Odyssey All-Stars”.
From Volunteer Odyssey:
We LOVED working with Sam and we wish her all the best in her new role. And she’s right – we think you’ll see a lot more of her! Congratulations, Sam!!!
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