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Feeding Our Souls

September 7, 2011

Like many of us, I find it difficult to always find time to volunteer. My “to do” list never seems to get any shorter and the idea of adding one more activity sometimes makes me want to bury my head in the sand and never come out. But, what I love about Volunteer San Diego is that you can volunteer in small, manageable doses. Case in point: Last week I decided to sign up for Serving Seniors and go on my lunch break at work. I usually eat lunch at my desk anyway so this seemed like a good opportunity to not only get out of the office, but also squeeze some volunteer time into my day.

The morning of my volunteer day I work up on the wrong side of the bed. I was in the worst mood and just wanted to sneak under my covers and go back to sleep. Unfortunately that was not really an option so I got up and went to work as usual. There were definitely a couple of times that morning where I contemplated not going to Serving Seniors, I just couldn’t imagine putting on a happy face for a whole hour and, in hindsight, I was too busy wallowing in my own self-pity. But, I pushed my own selfishness aside and went over to the 4th Avenue Senior Wellness Center around 1:00 pm that afternoon. As soon as I entered the doors my whole energy shifted.  Everyone from the front desk attendant to the kitchen staff was so pleasant to me that I couldn’t help but get in a better mood. I had a couple of minutes to spare before we started serving lunch so I took this opportunity to mingle with some of the staff that regularly works/volunteers at Serving Seniors. Everyone I spoke to had such an amazing attitude and, for many of them, this was not their only volunteer job. It was cool to see them all interact with the “regulars” that came for meals and it became apparent that some amazing relationships had been fostered through this program.

At 1:15 pm sharp the kitchen staff started loading up the trays as I slipped on my gloves and apron and started serving. The whole experience lasted only an hour but it completely changed my whole outlook on the day. Iit was at that point that I realized feeding these seniors had inadvertently fed my soul. Don’t get me wrong, while I don’t think that individuals should volunteer only to make themselves feel better, it is a pretty nice side effect.

I received numerous “thank you”s that day from the seniors as I set down trays of food at their tables, but I think that I really owe them the biggest “thank you” of all. Thank you for allowing me to act selflessly for one hour that day, thank you for giving me perspective, and thank you for lighting up my day with your smiles and sincere gratitude!

To learn more about Serving Seniors visit www.volunteersandiego.org and type “serving seniors” and your zip code in the Keyword Search.

– Ciera Davis, Social Media Assistant

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