What gives me purpose

Looking at the piles of work on my desk, I have the feeling of procrastination. I can barely see the wood desk beneath the papers from the volunteer programs, Teen Board stuff, meeting, papers to file and various sundry items that sound like no fun to attend to. I decide to make one of my many walks around the building to see if anyone needs anything.

After prolonging the inevitable piles of work that need to be done, I make my last stop at the checkout desk. As I visit with the Thursday volunteers and the staff member that works at the desk, I notice a client preparing to leave. “Let me get the door for you.”, I say to the mother. She smiles at me and sets down her baby who is buckled snugly in her car seat. She says, “Well this is my last visit today. I wanted to say thank you for all the kindness you guys here have shown us and my baby. I am going to bring her things here to donate when she outgrows them. Is that ok?” “Absolutely it is ok! And it is an honor and a privilege to get to serve you.”

I bent down to say good bye to the little baby girl who had used our services. She smiled the most beautiful smile and batted the longest eye lashes I have ever seen on a child. On her carrier, looped around the handle, was a coat that Infant Crisis Services was able to provide her. I admire how healthy and beautiful this child was and it dawned on me: this is why I come to work. I came in today to feed this child.

It put into perspective that the work on my desk is the bi-product of this bigger picture. I am re-energized in the fact that what I am doing matters. It matters to the tiniest members of our community who are in need. During this busy time of the year, today I am reminded what gives me purpose.

-Beth Lykins, Director of Volunteers