When I decided to volunteer for a year of service, I hoped that I would…
Dear future Mercy Volunteer,
This year you will be lost and then found, over and over again. In this year of service, you will learn more and grow more than you ever thought possible. It will be more rewarding and challenging than you can imagine. Could you ever have one without the other though? Continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone, even when you’re tired and especially when you are wondering, “Why did I sign up for this again?”
The people you serve will actually be the ones to carry you through. Focus on them and how you can give them the best version of yourself every single day. A year of service, living in community, and volunteering full-time with a population that truly needs your help, can be emotionally wrenching, but I advise you to give this experience the space to be “much easier and much more magical than you can imagine.” I try to practice this mantra each day with my students and co-workers.
For my service, I am working with close to fifty children ages kindergarten through fifth grade in an after-school program. If you’re working with kids, focus on the joy they bring with them. Yes, your year of service will not be easy, but it will be absolutely magical if you let it. Give yourself room to find yourself, to get lost, and to discover the joy and goodness in service over and over again.
Best of luck. You can do this!
Caty Ubertini: New York City