I began volunteering for UMCH one summer for their softball league. I live a few blocks from the Children’s Home, and the Lord began a couple of years ago putting a desire in my heart to “be” at the Home. I assumed only specially trained qualified persons could serve, so day after day, week after week, I passed UMCH, assuming I could never help. Fortunately, I ran into a volunteer who told me, “They let anyone volunteer. Check them out online.”
I went online and filled out the volunteer applications. After approval, I met with the Volunteer Coordinator, who showed me around. As we passed the softball field, she informed me of their league. And thus my volunteering began. Shortly after that I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in doing some art with some children at the Children’s Home for a summer camp called Jesse’ House. No training needed – just me and my God-given abilities.
Since then, I have realized that Jesus’ command to love isn’t too demanding. He never expects some crazy qualification in order to do what He is calling you to do. He qualifies the called.
At the Children’s Home, I’ve witnessed this very thing. I share my God-given gifts with children who need someone to care as all the other workers do. By just being willing and by being myself, God is working to fill a relationship gap in a child, to bring His healing and love into their life, and to do a work in my own heart.
I first volunteered at a United Methodist Children’s Home in the summer of 1968 after my sophomore year at Andrew College in Cuthbert, Georgia. I worked for the Florida Methodist Children’s Home as a camp counselor for the children when they went for their summer vacation at a farmhouse at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. I can still remember some of the children’s faces and their stories. That summer was very special to me, and I learned so much.
I again find myself at a United Methodist Children’s Home, but this time in Georgia and many years later. I am still touched by children’s faces and their stories, and I again have many special memories. I have been volunteering at the Children’s Home for several years now. I have done everything from directing the parking of cars at special events, to babysitting, to tutoring, to preparing food and tables, to cleaning up, and even to stuffing and weighing envelopes for fundraising mailings. I can honestly say that no matter the task, I have enjoyed myself and the other volunteers or staff members.
As in 1968, I feel good about my giving of myself because I feel that I am serving others. As a retired school teacher, I enjoy the opportunity to continue to work with children and people of different ages. Volunteering is a two-way street: it allows me to give and to receive. My life has been enriched in so many ways through volunteering at the Children’s Home.
You too can be a part of changing the lives of the children and families we serve by volunteering your time. Read more about volunteering at the Children’s Home.