I can’t explain to you the joy and happiness I feel when I do for other people. It gives me a sense of fulfillment and allows me to feel better within. This Christmas, I did a lot of volunteer work. I adopted a military family in need. I donated warm and fuzzy socks to elderly patients in Colorado to help keep them going in their rehabilitation center. I also adopted a soldier over seas and provide support and encouragement every month. Doing this makes me happy. It just does.
When I moved across the US and left my family back in Texas, I wanted to really make my own identity up here. My husband had lived here previously, but I was totally new to the area. Once I got settled in, I decided I wanted to do some volunteer work. Little did I know, I would turn into a volunteer addict! Being able to do for other people this Christmas has really helped me find a piece of identity within myself. Read along to hear about my experience with my first Christmas volunteer project as a married woman!
In November I began my research. I researched websites, things I could do in the community, and things I could do in the future (after Christmas). I ran into a website that allowed me to adopt families and soldiers. I read their mission and values and decided this was the organization I wanted to join. I signed up and a couple days later I got to choose my solider for adoption. I adopted him and immediately began my work. I would go out to dollar stores, grocery stores, and my local military base and collect items I knew he would want/need. I gathered things from toiletries to snacks to hot sauces to socks, from books to games, and much more. I then brought them all home and researched on how I was going to send these across seas. I discovered that I could do flat rate shipping from the USPS and decided to go that route. I would package things up and decorate boxes and write little notes in there for him. I never expect a reply, but when I get them, I am thrilled to hear they are ok and that he is thankful for what I do. Like I said it brings me a sense of fulfillment. I am now three months in with adopting him and things are going great! He wanted a coffee pot for Christmas and his favorite coffee and I sent him that plus more because I know their Christmas away from home won’t be the same. Now on to my adopted family experience.
I adopted a family through the same organization I did for my soldier. I decided to adopt a family of five from California. This one particular family touched my soul in a way I didn’t expect. They gave me a wish list of things for the kids, but parents expected nothing. Being the good woman I am, I went a little overboard, but decided to get them something too. I just sent this box on tuesday and I got a response from the Dad telling me how thankful he is to have me do this for them. I will soon find out what the kids say about their awesome presents.
Last experience was pretty amazing as well. When Christmas comes around, a lot of people think about the kids in need and want to give to them, which is great! This experience really opened my eyes to other age populations, the elderly. Being a nurse, I have seen patients come into the hospital and having to stay for multiple months and only having the clothes they brought into the hospital on the first day which are only a few clothing items. They also sometimes don’t have family members that are coming to visit or coming to bring them new clothes, or socks. I have seen patients have dirty, thin, hole-y socks, and they don’t deserve that. This brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. So, I partnered up with this organization who helps brings new, warm, fuzzy, and printed socks to the elderly patients of a rehabilitation center. This was a fun project for me because I even included my mom and grandparents in on this and I was able to provide 32 pairs of socks for these elderly patients. I can’t even imagine how many other pairs of socks other people provided. I really hope these patients will have warm and fuzzy feet. Thanks to me, I know the patients of that rehab center will have nice warm feet. I also threw in some mittens, beanies, christmas necklaces and other stuff for fun!
So my take home point for you readers are to allow yourself to get out there and volunteer. It might be scary at first, but the feeling you get helping people is something I can’t really explain. Just being able to give someone something that they cant provide for for themselves at the moment is awesome and fulfilling. Also, don’t forget other age populations. Kids are fun to buy for and I totally love doing that, but also look into age groups. Get out there and volunteer!
***will update on the responses from my adopted family.
-military daily life lady