I have been wanting to go around to a few churches since the Overflow 2014-2015 season. I have wanted to thank the volunteers. But I’ve been too lazy. That’s basically WHY I’ve wanted to thank volunteers.
I was a monitor at the Augsburg Lutheran 2014-2015 and I have returned again as a monitor at Augsburg Lutheran 2015-2016. I spent 3 years and the 8 months between the Overflow helping individuals with mental illness and usually homelessness. Perhaps it was because of my job but typically when I have gotten off work, I don’t want to do anything but go home and relax. Volunteering has NEVER been something I ever thought to do.
I know the guests at Augsburg didn’t always act like it and I rarely ever told people but I have a new and huge admiration for those who volunteer. I am paid (a small amount but it’s still a job) to stay up all night and act as security, care provider, director from 6:30pm-6:30am. But it isn’t a job for all the volunteers. It’s an act of kindness, of love, of giving. Y’all as volunteers GIVE UP your time to relax at home with your children or spouse catching up on TV shows or reading.
As someone too lazy and too selfish to give those things up, I recognize what a HUGE thing it is. The groups that spend hours planning, preparing, and serving the meals. AMAZING! The people that come in to help with the hectic check-in process. ASTOUNDING! The people that stay up with me half the night (or if they are crazy enough they stay up with me the whole night). You fill me with AWE!
I go home and sleep from 7:30am-maybe 4pm. I do NOT go about my day as if it were any other. I do NOT go to work.
Y’all are giving up your free time and a good night’s rest to help all of these men! (Or women if you volunteer at St. Timothy’s.)
When I feel worn out and ready to grumble. I remember you all.
I know the emphasis is supposed to be on helping provide a loving community to help these men find a place in this life that isn’t a plastic mat on a church floor AND providing them with a safe place and a warm meal in the winter. I know that’s what we’re all working towards, but I really needed to thank all you volunteers that inspire me to have that extra little bit of patience on my third shift at 5:30am.
So thank you. May your God bless you and keep inspiring people!