I'm writing this from the elementary school today, where I'm volunteering in the library. I do this a couple of times a week, give or take. During the book fair, I'm here pretty much all day, all week. Two weeks ago COSI on Wheels came to our school and I volunteered at that as well. Every to often someone comments on how much I do. Something along the lines of "bless you for giving so much of your time" or something like that. (By the way, I know at least a couple of folks who volunteer far more time to things than I do, although it's not necessarily sometime like time at a school or nursing home.)
I appreciate those comments, although they get a little embarassing. You see, I'm totally selfish about volunteering. I love my time at the school more than I can find words to describe. I AM blessed. It's a fabulous "job". Every smile. Every hug. The looks of excited expectation for a good story well read when the kids come in for library time. Finding that book that has even the more fidgity of kids sitting still in rapt attention. Being told that I'm their favorite teacher. (I love that one!) I get paid so very well and gobble it up greedily, coming back every week for still more. Honestly, I'm not really giving anything up by being here and I'm getting so very much.
There are other places I could volunteer. I'm sure my time could be well spent working with favorite causes, stuffing envelopes. However, I don't think I'd enjoy them as much as this. Seeing these kids when the world opens up before them thanks to a book, or story, or even a personal anectdote. Taking the time to listen to their stories and worries and truimphs. Letting them know I see them as individuals and that I value them. My time is well spent and I am, indeed, very blessed. I can't think of a better way to spend my time than here at the elementary school.