A few months ago I decided to expand my volunteering activity at Casa and help as a “Fairy Godmother.” This is where a group of ladies host a baby shower for one of the pregnant teens at the home. They really put on quite a production- they have adorable decorations, gifts for the mama-to-be and delicious food based on what the mom likes. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew some of the girls from volunteering through Chicktime, but had never attended one of these events. I hadn’t volunteered at these types of events in the past for a few reasons. They are in the evening after work and that is quite inconvenient to my normal routine. Also, it is a different volunteer group, so I wouldn’t be with my Chicktime ladies who I’m comfortable with. I’m not a big fan of attending baby showers even for my close friends and family. Lastly, I don’t have a lot of money to spend to help with bringing decorations, gifts or food. But at some point, I rationalized I had to at least try it out- I’ve seen how the Casa girls really appreciate when we come in, and maybe I could learn something at these events that could help us with Chicktime events. Also, I was throwing a baby shower for my sister the following month so I thought I would get some ideas.
The baby shower was such a beautiful and touching experience, it taught me things about these girls, the women that volunteer, and myself, which I continue to appreciate and truly feel blessed in my heart.
The decorations were astounding. The ladies really have a knack for artistic and creative ways to throw a party. The food was delicious- similar to the Chicktime events, I try to tell myself to take it easy on the food but it is so yummy and has that heartfelt homemade aspect I just can’t resist. When I think of that day, I still feel in my heart the future mom’s gratitude for all we did. As with many of the girls in the home, they don’t have someone to throw them this special party. She was so appreciative with every detail of the party- the games, the food, each individual gift she received. A few of her family members attended the event- I believe it was her aunt and grandmother. Other members of her family did not appreciate or approve of her decisions. So we volunteers were her family and friends for that time in her life. She was moving forward with decisions she had made and needed just a little help, a few smiles, and a lot of love. I am proud to say I was part of filling those needs for her that day.
On my drive home I started to reflect on the blessings in my life and couldn’t help but get emotional. I called my sister and had to tell her how blessed we are to have a close relationship and that we come from such a loving, nurturing family. I had previously been stressed about throwing her shower, but on that drive home I realized the most important part of having a baby shower is starting to create that “village to raise a child,” complete with love, support, friends and family. The Fairy Godmothers helped provide that to one future mom, and Chicktime helps provide the sustaining nurturing to that new family. Together, we make the community better.
I’m not sure if the mom-to-be got more out of that event or me. It really touched me, and helped in my continual journey to be a better person. Volunteering benefits more than just those being helped. When you volunteer, the “feel-good” part of your brain is triggered. It raises your self-esteem. You make friends with like-minded people. You create a sense of purpose and community, which reduces loneliness and isolation. It gives you perspective on your own situation. And who knows, your act of kindness may leave an impression on someone else to follow your lead and also give back. Let’s try to start that chain reaction; it’s certainly one way to make our world a better place.
How can you get involved?
If baby showers are more your style, you can contact Micaelea at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with the Fairy Godmothers and learn about their upcoming events.
Or please join us at the next Chicktime event on 4/8! We will have members of Wounded Warriors join us with Next Steps service dogs to share their inspirational stories. We will help the girls, help the wounded warriors by giving treats to their dogs, and help ourselves just by volunteering. Please RSVP to Joann at email@example.com by 4/1. I hope to see you there!