Anniversaries & Commitments!September 19th, 2011
What a week this has been! Beginning with the sombering 10th anniversary of the tragic September 11, 2001 world changing events, the remainder of the week has given me an increasing sense of hope and community. Each day this week, I’ve looked out upon the faces of so many of our wonderful St. Anthony Foundation volunteers as they’ve attended our annual Town Hall meetings, this year occurring Monday through Friday, Sept. 12th through 16th. These are the faces that greet our beloved guests and clients, day in and day out, year after year; faces that behold others with respect, with good will, with empathy, with humor, with recognition! I’ve mentioned more than once this week at the meetings that shortly after I assumed the position of individual volunteer coordinator in the summer of 2005, I received a call from a gentleman who said he wanted “to give back”. He said that he had eaten in the Dining Room often during the 1980’s. He was struggling at the time with severe mental illness and often didn’t think he’d make it to the next day. He said that it was the kindness, the friendliness of the volunteers who served him his lunch that was often the reason he was able to hold on another day. Since those days, he received the treatment he needed to recover his mental health. He was flourishing and successful and wanted to give back to the community that helped him survive those most difficult days.
It can be so overwhelming as we consider the challenges of today in this world, in many ways even more daunting than 10 years ago. It IS so reassuring to look out upon the marvelous faces of those who care about each person they see, each person they serve—one at a time, no matter what. That’s where the healing accent is! That’s where we find everything and everyone we need to reconcile, to restore, to not only persevere—but to flourish! Happy, Healing, Hopeful 60th Anniversary to St. Anthony Foundation volunteers!!!! Your presence is a sweet remedy to a world in need! May your kindness and dedication continue to be wonderfully contagious!