One of the perks of being a Peer Leader is being able to perform direct service across the state of Maryland. During Pre-Service Training (PST), I joined the Volunteer Maryland Coordinators (VMCs) of VM24 and VM Support Team for a day of service at Moveable Feast in Baltimore. As a resident of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I don’t always get the chance to serve in Baltimore, so I was looking forward to exploring new territory.
Moveable Feast is a multifaceted organization, that has a mission of providing nutritious meal and services in order to preserve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening conditions, such as breast cancer and diabetes. Our volunteer responsibilities varied from being in the kitchen to prepare ingredients for chicken pot pies, surveying clients via telephone, filing important paperwork, and decorating delivery bags for clients. I was given the task of decorating plastic bags, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Three VMCs and I let our creative juices flow as we designed bag after bag, some promoting healthy eating, a few with outdoor themes, and others with inspirational quotes. By no means am I a professional artist, but those bags were some of my best work, because I was committed to brightening someone’s day when they received their delivered meals. My interaction with the clients served by Moveable Feast was indirect, and yet still important. Another testament of how a person can give back to his/her community in more ways than one.
As an AmeriCorps member this year, I foresee many adventures similar to that at Moveable Feast, because I plan to serve at a variety of non profits. Dr. Seuss was correct when he wrote, “Oh, the places you’ll go. There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.” For me, that “ball” is volunteerism. Being a Peer Leader grants me the opportunity to serve on both shores of Maryland (and beyond), which is a ton of fun and a win for organizations and community members.
The great thing about service is that anyone can volunteer! Whether you want to destroy the “mountain” of poverty or clean the mountain with environmental education, there is a volunteer position out there with your name on it. All you have to do is start looking. As you embark on your journey of service, remember the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”