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Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Volunteering

"Volunteers make the world go round."Yes, this is my motto, as I believe volunteers do so much good in the world. I have been in the role of Director of Volunteers for over ten years now. I feel rejuvenated about humanity each year since volunteers have given to so many organizations in need. The numbers have sky rocketed with 64.3 reported Americans volunteering through an organization of their choice. Minnesota and the Twin Cities area is one of the top areas of volunteerism. In Minneapolis-St. Paul,the trends look like this: 37% of residents volunteer bringing in 86.5 million total volunteer hours. This is an impressive number by anyone's standards.
 During the holidays many feel inspired to help and volunteer. Did you know that organizations are looking to see if you have volunteered? Think about how hiring managers feel when they scan your resume and see you have given back to the community and volunteered. This piece of information goes a long way. Perhaps this holiday season, you could think about a cause you believe in and make the leap. What would be your top cause and how would you go about researching this?
 As a Director of Volunteer Services, many of the volunteers I bring on found my organization, Ebenezer on Volunteer Match. Now that you know how to do it, just reach out and volunteer. You will be bringing on smiles and connections to those that are in need. Good luck and know you are making a big impact.
 Happy holidays.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ann's Precious Baby Girl

The empty chair stood proud and stately in the baby's parlor. The beautiful vintage oak rocking chair reeked with character. The smell of baby powder filled the air. The diaper rack neatly displayed all the needed baby supplies: Cloth and disposable diapers, ointments, safety pins, wet wipes etc. On the wall hung a picture of mom and baby. A framed animal picture hung over a wooden floor that was splashed with bright colors.

Safely tucking baby into her crib, mother heard the doorbell ring. She softly whispered "sweet dreams baby" and shut the door quietly behind her. Ann opened the front door and saw her good friend, Erin. "I've been really worried about you Ann. You haven't been answering your home phone or answering my text's. Is everything alright?"

Erin handed over a pile of mail into her friend’s hands as she entered the front door. "Thanks, you didn't have to do that" she said in a monotone voice. Ann offered her friend a soda or cup of tea. "I'd love a can of diet Pepsi if you have it." The two friends sat in the kitchen nook and began chatting and catching up on things.

Not fifteen minutes into their visit, Ann told Erin she needed to check on the baby. "I'll be right back; I think I hear Courtney fussing." When Ann came back she was cradling her bundle of joy in a pink, hand-made quilt. "I am so sorry Erin, I'll have to end our visit because Courtney hasn't been feeling well and she really needs her sleep." Can you let yourself out while I lay Courtney back down in her crib?" "Oh, of course Ann, I understand, but please, call me soon so we can set up a girls night out." Erin gave Ann a quick hug and started towards the door.

Erin realized she needed the ladies room before the thirty minute drive home. "I really have to stop drinking pop" she said to herself. Thinking it might be a while before seeing Ann and the newborn baby, she turned to peek into the baby's nursery before using the bathroom.

Ann was looking down at her baby in the crib and singing the most beautiful lullaby. "Ann, I just had to come in and give the baby a kiss before I left." Ann didn't say a word and had an empty, glazed look in her eyes. Erin let out a gasp when she leaned down to kiss the baby. There, tucked into the beautiful blanket, was a store bought, baby girl doll.

@ Laura Rogers