We hope you are still enjoying the last days of Volunteer Appreciation month and that you are finding even more reasons to appreciate the impact you are having on the community. In this installment, we learn a bit about how the Nature Museum and Discovery Place touched a couple of our members, and why they appreciate the opportunity to volunteer.
It was a Saturday morning and I arrived at the Nature Museum for one of our routine placement events. We started learning about our day’s activity. We were just told the group was a part of a nearby church’s program. We didn’t really ask any questions. The children arrived and it was chaotic, to say the least. I was paired with two boys who were best friends. One of the boys was a pretty good listener and eager to learn. The other had the attention span of a puppy– all over the place and into everything. It tested my patience and I was exhausted by the end.
All of the kids and the church group left, and as we were cleaning up, our Chairs told us the background on the group. They were mostly homeless children. Homeless. It hit me how special this day was to these two boys with whom I had been struggling. The reason they had been so crazy was their excitement. They had just wanted to do and see everything. They just wanted to do it all in this short window of time, since they didn’t normally get opportunities like this. It certainly was a reminder on two fronts. One, how fortunate we are and how great the Junior League is to provide us opportunities to help those who are not. And two, what our volunteering opportunities can provide for those we help- learning experiences, love they may not get otherwise, and excitement in their sometimes dark worlds. We are blessed to have these opportunities to make an impact.
– Elizabeth Sirota
Though I am brand new to the group, I have developed a great love for the Discovery Place Placement! Not only is it amazing to interact with different groups of children throughout our Charlotte community, but the activities and lessons planned for the kids are very educational and entertaining for me. I find myself laughing at the stories we read, and participating in the crafts/experiments that the kids do each time.
I believe the kids love learning in such a fun way, and develop confidence when they understand and enjoy what we are discussing. For example, at the Charlotte Nature Museum, one of the children in my group, Lebron, knew so much about gardening, that during our story time he lead most of the discussion on which seeds are which, and how much water and sunlight each type of plant needed. It was remarkable the way his eyes lit up every time I turned the page and he knew exactly what to say. Because I enjoy this placement so much, I have decided to do it next year!