We thought we were putting up our hands to spearhead projects we could donate to and then let these run its course, but of course none of us are built that way.
Our committee decided to support Reach for a Dream as our first project. Easy – pay and watch the foundation “make it happen” we believed. Shortly after, we received an email asking if we would like to participate.
Sparkly eyes and hearts on our sleeves, we joined the Queens for a Day programme with eight girls. A spa day with a small group of young girls whose every-day reality isn’t school, sports, home.
Each and every day, these girls work hard just to get through the day; to fight the drudgery of their disease to make it through yet another day.
But for one day, they didn’t have to fight. They relaxed and relished in the spoils of having their nails done, soaked in a Jacuzzi full of bubbles and indulged in sweet treats and massages.
Our hearts grew, and when your heart grows, you want others to know that feeling.
One of the difficulties in volunteering is participation. It’s human nature to be sceptical or self-absorbed in our little bubble, but no greatness is achieved by living in your comfort zone.
So we rallied the troops – just short of using pom-poms and war cries –rolled up our sleeves and jumped in with both feet into a government hospital paediatric admission ward revamp. Go big or go home, right?
In conjunction with the Baby Ethan Foundation and Investec Bank, our colleagues helped transform the reception area into a kids’ delight and a parents’ relief. The kids could be entertained while they patiently waited for a doctor, surrounded by shelves filled with books and puzzles, murals on the wall of Care Bears and bunnies, checker-board tables and even an enchanted tree.
But the real magic happened to those who gave of their time and skills. And, once again, their hearts grew.
To be afforded the opportunity to volunteer in a corporate setting is a gift. It’s a contagious and uplifting experience, not for the beneficiaries of our volunteering; rather for those who volunteer because we give of ourselves.
A camaraderie is forged during an unspoken heart moment and our souls light up for a community we would not have thought of joining. By being part of a project, however big or small, you leave a mark that lasts a lifetime on those who joined you and those who will benefit from your contribution.
2018 has been an amazing year of giving and growing. In 2019, we intend on growing our hearts even more…