“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tag: make a difference
Volunteerism should be a big deal in our country. It is universally valued--nobody in their right mind would say disparaging words about volunteers or volunteering. Not everyone can be a philanthropic giver, but most everyone can be a volunteer. You don’t have to have wealth or material resource; you just need to have time, heart and a sense of adventure. Volunteering is not age constrained and can be enjoyed by both the young and old. Volunteering is not only good for society--organizations like the Family Care Network depend on it--but it’s good for you, the Volunteer.
January is National Mentor Month, and we want to honor the many individuals who volunteer their time and energy to support our kids. Our mentors are some of the most amazing people. And the relationships they build with our kids are often times life-changing for both mentors and mentees.
We’d like to introduce you to Colleen and Angelo, an FCNI mentor and mentee, who want to share a sneak peek into their special relationship.
I guess it’s only natural to focus on the challenges of each stage of life; but how much more rewarding it is when we seek out the opportunities presented, especially when they involve enriching the life of another. Though I am considered a “senior citizen,” I plan to always be open to serving others through volunteering.
I am one of the lucky ones. I grew up in a home, with two parents who loved me and provided for me. I was safe and secure. This was my “normal” and I assumed everyone else had the same. The first time I realized I was lucky, was when a boy named Anthony moved in with us. I was in the first grade, my brother was in third grade, and now we had another person joining our family, a foster brother, and he was a fifth grader. I had heard the word “foster” before.
For me, all that is worthy in the world begins with families who function holistically—loving families who raise healthy children. In contrast, all that is awry in the world begins with families who lack the skills or resources to find wellness and struggle to meet each other’s needs, especially the needs of their children. Through my journey, I found Social Work to be the most effective and meaningful path by which I could support and empower at-risk and high-needs families; it is the role that is most authentic to who I am and what I value.
When I was asked to write a blog [this being my first one ever] about why I work for the Family Care Network and try to “be the difference,” I was apprehensive, because the reason is very personal for me. It is something I have shared with very few people. Most of the people I work closely with at Family Care Network don’t know the reason for my commitment to this agency. Up until right now, I have chosen to share my story only with my closest friends and family. I guess I have been afraid of being judged; hopefully a very unrealistic fear. So, here’s my sto
I became a mentor after bonding with a young man that I had tutored. We hit it off very well, and neither of us wanted our relationship to end when the tutoring did. I wanted Paul* to know that I cared about him, and not just because I wanted him to do well in school, but because we had started to build a relationship that I really enjoyed.
Imagine if you will, how wonderful it would be to have the skills to improve a child or youth’s health, reduce obesity, improve academic performance and stabilize school behavior, improve self-confidence, build resiliency, reduce risk factors for engaging in violent or criminal behavior, improve future hopefulness and goal setting, build leadership skills and substantially improve their potential for success and achievement. Sound challenging? It’s not. Become a Mentor!
As the Christmas holiday is less than 24 hours away, we here at FCNI are reflecting on all the ways our amazing Central Coast community gives towards our efforts throughout the year. One of the most vital ways that you give throughout the year is with your time—probably the most precious commodity we each possess.