Last Wednesday I went to a meet-up for all those who volunteer at the Safe Nest shelter. For those not familiar, Safe Nest is a local shelter for victims of domestic violence. I signed up to volunteer a few years ago. At the time I was looking for an outlet for some community projects I wanted to do outside of my sorority. Once I passed through the interview, background check, and training I jumped right into things. My main thing was the children’s program. Twice a week I would assist in keeping the children in the shelter entertained while their mother’s were at therapy sessions or shelter meetings. I would even volunteer on the occasional Saturday for a field trip or party.
When I switched jobs my volunteering trickled down to almost nothing. The company I work for is extremely demanding of our time. On top of that I decided to take some classes and between that and my sorority obligations I was left with no extra time to volunteer. So when I attended the meet-up last week I hadn’t been to the shelter to volunteer since late last year. It was great to reconnect with the shelter staff and other volunteers. As a result of that meet-up I volunteered to lead two programs:
Garden Project: The director at Safe Nest announced that she wanted the shelter residents to plant a garden. A sponsor had all of the supplies donated, she just needed someone to lead the project. I told her that I would do it. Despite the fact that I’m still a novice at the gardening thing and I’m just now developing a green thumb it seems like a very fun project to be involved in. I love hands on outdoorsy type activities.
Weekly Meditation Group: What I love about Safe Nest is that they are open to any ideas volunteers have about workshops and/or programs. The biggest thing that the shelter stresses is empowerment. Being an organization that services victims of domestic violence tools of empowerment are the biggest gifts that can be offered. With that in mind I offered to teach weekly meditation classes to the residents. Meditation has offered a lot of positive changes for me and I always encourage others to practice it, whether they are Buddhist or not. On top of that, I’ve been talking about starting my own meditation group for at least a year and a half now. So I’m excited for the opportunity to finally be able to do this. I’m a bit nervous about leading a meditation group. I’ve never done it before. But I’m determined not to let my nervousness stop me.
So we’ll see where this new phase of volunteerism leads me.