Stephanie Pearce: Volunteering — That’s Important to Me

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Stephanie Pearce

It is amazing to me how we teach our kids values and they don’t even know it.

I was working more on my list of things that are important to me and I started remembering happy childhood memories of very teachable moments. I started thinking about how I learned that giving back to my community by volunteering is so important.

When I was little one of my very first memories is sitting on my mom’s lap while she was playing piano in this little white house made into a rest home on Yampa Avenue here in Craig. At least once a month you could find my mom in there on a Sunday afternoon playing and singing hymns for the residents.

I liked going because we didn’t have a piano at home and I got to “play” the piano too. Only once in a while did the residents get irritated with my playing and ask me to stop.

I also loved the smile on my mom’s face and hearing her sing so sweetly. Little did I know while all this was happening, my mom was teaching me to give back to my community.

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but that didn’t stop my mom from giving of what she did have – her time.

The little rest home on Yampa is long gone, but every Sunday morning before she goes to church, my mom stops at Sand Rock Ridge nursing home to play the piano and sing. She also visits a little with the residents before she goes to her own Sunday services.

I know she probably started this many years ago thinking that she was doing them a service. I also know how each of these souls has left an impact on her and that’s why she keeps doing it.

After St. Michael’s Soup Kitchen opened, my daughter, Samantha, and I tried to be there just about every Tuesday to help cook and serve. We were pretty dedicated for the first couple of years, but when I got a job again, that hasn’t been something we’ve been able to do.

I miss that time spent volunteering.

Yes, it felt so good to know we were making a difference, but even better, the people we met became like family. It is so true that you get more than you give when you volunteer.

I hope that when my daughter is old, she will remember fondly the times we spent at the soup kitchen like I remember the times at that old rest home. I also hope she realizes that giving of your time benefits not only those around her, but ultimately her.

Volunteering is back on my list of what’s important to me this year. I hope it is important to you too.

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