As you may remember, I wrote about volunteer opportunities -- namely the Book Buddies program -- a while back. Well, well, well. I never, ever -- in my wildest dreams -- expected the turnout I received.
Our Book Buddies program (at the Cesar Chavez Central Library) is a summer reading help project for children entering the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. We've got about 50 kids coming to the library every Monday, Wednesday and Friday getting help with their reading. From the smiles on their faces and their excitement each time they sign in, I think this program is a huge success. They're enjoying reading! Hello!!
This program would never have gotten off the ground without the dedication -- and I should say Dedication with a capital "D" -- of our teen volunteers. They arrive 30-45 minutes early each session and pull materials (books, activities, etc.) to share with their young person or small group of young persons. They read. They encourage. They build confidence. Oh my goodness: they are creating readers!!! Am I slightly over the moon about this? You bet!
I tell the volunteers all the time how much I appreciate them. I hope they hear me. I really do. I hope they know -- if not now, then someday -- what an incredible impact they are making on the lives of young people.
If they need a little help realizing their wonderfulness, here's a thought. And a thought for all of you.
Have you heard of the website www.futureme.org? Let me explain. It's a website where you can write a letter to your future self. Pretty cool, right? You can set the date for the letter to be emailed to you. Set it for a month. Set it for a year. Set it for 10 years. It's up to you. Of course, you'll have to keep the same email address, but that's not a huge thing.
I'm going to write a letter right now to my future self. I'm going to write about the community spirit I have observed in my teen volunteers this summer. I don't know when I'll have the letter emailed back to me. But if it happens to arrive on a day when I'm in a blue mood, I know I'll be uplifted to remember this awesome group of teens and how they gave of themselves to help others. That will turn around any blue mood...most definitely.
So what are you waiting for? Write a letter to your future self. Have fun.
P.S. If you're wondering about volunteer opportunities at the library, stay tuned. There will be lots more wonderful chances to share your time come September.
In the meantime, be well.