by Arthur Krieger 

April is National Volunteer Month, and today we’re hearing from one of our Project SERVE volunteers about the importance of volunteerism, and how people receive even as they give of their time.

Everyone knows that volunteers “make a difference”. But I’m just beginning to realize how valuable my help is to the kids I serve at Catholic Charities’ Villa Maria Schools.

In my role with Project SERVE, I volunteer at three campuses and many more classrooms. Sometimes I feel that my time and energy are too broadly diffused to really influence the kids I work with. But something special has happened in the last couple weeks. Thanks to a staffing anomaly I’ve been called to serve in the same class five days a week, for a brief period. Working with the same kids every day means forming deep bonds – and making a bigger difference than ever. I feel like the essential staff; I see how important I am to my kids for the first time. They depend on me for fairness and straightforwardness and consistency, and providing these things has had unmistakable positive effects on them. Seeing it makes me so very grateful. On top of that, showing up to the same building, the same staff and the same children every morning makes me feel like I belong to the Villa community like never before. Everyone at the Pot Spring school treats me with a special respect, and a special intimacy, I never imagined before last week. Thank Goodness I decided to volunteer at the Villa schools. I knew I would give a lot and get a lot; what I didn’t know was just how much, and how good it would make me feel.

Thanks for reading, people. Much love to you!