Archive for December, 2009

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Reflection

December 17, 2009

It is rare that I write anything extremely personal – I can’t really recall a post that was very personal. But I’ve been thinking lately about the worth of my work and the importance of what I’m doing.
I have been an AmeriCorps member now for 9 months. I have been to many events, met many people, and learned an awful lot. In someone’s position such as mine there always come a point when one questions what they are doing, why they are doing it and if it’s really worth doing. At the end of the day my assessment of how that day went is based upon two things. How I treated others and how I reacted to how others treated me. We’re only on this planet for so long and there really is only so much we can do. But while we are here I have found it is gravely important to remain giving, grateful, and gracious. In times of doubt or in moments of frustration I think about why I’m doing what I’m doing. Why I signed up for AmeriCorps in the first place and my answer is because I want to help everyone and anyone I can in the time I am allotted here. I have had people come in and out of my life. Some of them were around for hours, days, or years. In that time they said and did things so minute, but so grand. Things that changed me and shaped me to be who I am today. And I want to be sure that every single day I remember the potential of my existence. As a community member, a student, an AmeriCorps I have the potential to impact so many lives. And so do all of you. We may not be able to build rocket ships or cure cancer, but some of us may! And some of us may put a smile on people’s faces or serve soup or collect shoes for the shoeless. Whatever we do, it counts. Whatever we do, we should do it with joy and happiness – knowing that our work is priceless. And we should strive to work together harmoniously to better our communities.
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale
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The Gift of In(sight)

December 14, 2009


KEITH MICHAELS
Substance Abuse Counselor, Age 33
Santa Monica, CA
Guides Blind Runners

A lot of people I train with compete, and this organization is not about how fast you are or how many races you’ve won. It’s just people who get together who love to run. And obviously if you’re blind, unless you’re running on a treadmill, you can’t run by yourself. Running has done so much for me in my life-I just decided that guiding a blind runner might be a nice way to give a little bit back to something that’s given so much to me.

I learned to guide, at first, by listening and watching John, one of the other sighted guides. Learning how to keep as little tension as possible on the tether, which is the equipment we use to stay connected while we’re running.

Sharlene’s been completely blind since birth. She’s – she’ll kill me if I get this wrong – forty-six or forty-seven years old. She’s run thirty marathons – she has an incredible spirit. All she knows how to do is to live life on life’s terms without the use of her eyes. She doesn’t let being blind get in the way of pursuing her dreams. I really like that about her; that spirit is contagious. You feel like an idiot complaining about the weather, about anything.

I suppose there’s a lot of truth to the saying that “The best things in life are free.” I go home after showing up at Achilles – on the days when I want to and on the days when I don’t want to, when I really don’t feel like running seven miles right then – always feeling like I can’t wait for next Sunday. Every time.

***story courtesy of Network for Good***

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Season of Giving!

December 8, 2009

Hello everyone! It’s been almost an entire month since I last blogged and I have some great opportunities to get involved this holiday season!
First and foremost always check http://www.volunteercentersn.org for the latest and greatest opportunities. Bookmark that site and check it as often as possible for updates : ]
There are many more than just these three so be sure to check the site to find an opportunity that best suits you.

Morning Zoo Toy Drive ( December 3 – December 13)

HELP of Southern Nevada and 98.5 KLUC need your help to make their annual Morning Zoo Toy Drive a success! Volunteers of all ages with holiday cheer are needed to help sort the toys in preparation for distribution to children in the community. Three shifts are available each day. Click here to sign up!

Gift Wrapping and Christmas Sale ( December 3 – December 26)

Volunteers are needed every day until December 26 to help wrap gifts for children and sell holiday items for the Dixon House, a local organization that assists women and children. Shifts are 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., and 15 volunteers are needed for each shift. Click here for more info and to sign up!

YMCA Reindeer Rock Event (December 20 11 AM -5 PM)
Come one come all to the Toys for Tots Reindeer Rock event! This wonderful day of families and friends will include over 2,500 gifts donated for the children. Volunteers are needed for greeters, gift distributors, and other various positions. Click here to sign up!