The Depth of Contribution: The Heart of the VolunteerMay 17, 2010 3:52 pm
I hope that you stayed dry this weekend and that you were also able to get a little sunshine! Summer weather is ahead, and with it, we will have abundance of summer fruits galore! I was excited to see that our beautiful, new flyers were printed this weekend, and I want to thank two of our co-operators from Retna media for making that happen! I also want to announce?are you ready???….We have a new trailer! We are so blessed that insurance has helped us to cover the cost of the old one that was stolen, and they have pitched in to cover the cost of the new one! This is fabulous news! We even got one that is two feet longer than the original one! We truly came out of this situation smelling like peaches! Stay tuned for details on a ?Pimp My Trailer? extravaganza!
Speaking of smelling like peaches, we have been invaded by them! Peach season is officially here, and the Gundermanns have grown for us the most juicy ones ever! I cannot tell you how excited I am for these sweet fruits, but they are one of my all-time favorites. The Gundermanns have contributed so much to our hearts and bellies, and they will always get a heart-felt thank you from me and from everyone in the co-op.
When three or more people mention the same topic to me within the same week, it usually gets me thinking. This past week, I had several people come to thank me for allowing them to contribute. I always say, ?Of course!? because I know that contributing feels good; however, two people really brought this to my attention. One of them came up to me and asked, ?Do you understand the depth of what you have created??
Ironically, I feel the depth of what is created because it touches my heart continuously; yet, I realize that there is no way for me to completely understand ALL of the factors that make our co-op living, sustainable, central, and supported. It changes everything on millions of levels, but will we ever see all of these amazing impacts? What are the greater implications?
The volunteers who have showed up this week literally worked their bums off! Everyone put in some serious hard work, and they had a great time sharing and giving back to the community! On Thursday, I was running late from picking up the new trailer, and the volunteers who were there ran the show! They found boxes, they started sorting the food, they put up the tents, and they endured the heat with music and laughter! When I came, they were all excited that they had done so much, and this was fantastic! On Saturday, I had about twenty people come to help us in the rain! How many people do you know will get our of bed early on Saturday morning to come play with veggies in the rain?! I felt like a kid all over again! We truly have an amazing group of contributors. YOU all make this happen. Whether you come to help sort or whether you simply come to pick up a box, you contribute in your own way. All forms of support are needed to sustain the co-operative?we co-operate to make our organic, food community sustainable and functional.
In speaking of the depth that is created by the co-op, I truly believe that it is a creator of good. When thinking of all of the benefits, too many swim around in my head to even be able to catch them. I always speak of the farmers, of the food, and of the health, but I never get to truly address the volunteers who come week after week simply to place a piece of the love in their hearts into the boxes.? I almost felt badly this week to see some volunteers sorting in the heat or in the rain until I realized that they enjoy it!
A few weeks ago, all of us volunteers on a Thursday seemed to just have an off day. No one could get centered. We were tripping over boxes and dropping things. We all agreed to make a circle, hold hands, and say words of gratitude and appreciation. We asked for peace and calmness. This prayer was a release for everyone. Although we didn?t know each other that well, after that, we did on one level. I think we realized that it is never the food or the box that is the problem, but it is our emotion or our burden that we carry around on our shoulders that causes us to be off balance. After we said our prayers, everyone went around and gave hugs. Some were even crying after a difficult week. After that, we had one of the best times sorting EVER. The music played, everyone laughed, and everyone was given a safe haven where they could have fun and enjoy their bonding time with each other and with the food. This was one of the most special co-op days that I have had, and I thank those who allowed me to share that experience with them.
Everyone who comes received joy and satisfaction from being able to help! We all feel important in being able to give back. Many are not given the opportunity to truly contribute on a daily basis, and how could anyone be denied this beautiful privilege? Sometimes, giving back is the only thing that allows our hearts to sing.
I still do not understand the depth of all of the underlying contributions that our co-op does to change the world, but I feel it in my heart that it is moving mountains. I know that people LOVE contributing. I LOVE to contribute. I love to share, and I LOVE to serve. I do this every week because it is a rush and because it makes me feel so amazing?why would I deny that amazing feeling to anyone else or doubt that they would not get that same rush when they come? You bond with the people, with the food, and with yourself. Plus, you get an awesome workout! How places do you know that you can go to and simply ask to help out of the goodness of your heart? Will they allow you to help or will they try to send you away? No employees are paid here. If you come, you come because you want to come, and you are welcomed with an open heart.
I am beyond overwhelmed at the goodness that we have created, and I truly believe that it is protected by a higher power. No matter who tries to come in and change things, or who tries to come in and take away from its purity, it simply cannot be tainted. The co-op is responsible for feeding too many families and for sharing the message of organic and raw. It has become a haven for so many. I believe that when messages like these are being spread, only good can come from any situation no matter what it may be.
Even if you can?t come to volunteer at the co-op, you can still contribute to the world in so many other beautiful ways. Never deny yourself this privilege. It feels amazing to reach out and to help the world. Open your heart to be brave enough to do this once in your life?to step out of your comfort zone. Give back. Give love. Live love.