Monday, July 30, 2012

The Volunteer Who Waited...and Wasn't Disappointed

It's all good...

By Richard Kent Matthews

Early last year, around February 2011, I applied to volunteer at a local agency doing counseling work with senior citizens. During the training, I discovered that the 'team' I was going to be working with didn't exactly take to me for some reason. Oh, well, I thought. I'm not really here for them anyway. I'm here to serve.

But I still had a negative feeling about the whole training experience.

During the last couple of days of the training, I made the decision not to work with the organization. Before I could exit, though, the leader of the training called me aside and said that I didn't fit in and they wouldn't be asking me to continue with them.

To be very blunt and honest, I was taken aback and even a bit offended! Ha! They beat me to the punch.

Later, as I rehashed the whole process in my mind, I realized my personal response was a bit childish. I made the decision to just let it go.

The sad part was, I really wanted to volunteer with the organization. I felt a sense of loss. But I put it out of my mind and went on to other things.

Forward to today, July 30, 2012.

I received an email from a Craigslist volunteer opportunity I'd inquired about. The sender asked me if I was the same Richard who had volunteered for the counseling position last year. I was hesitant to say yes, thinking that they were probably not going to ask me to interview since they most likely had talked to the trainer. But I went ahead and sent an email, telling them that I was indeed the same person.

Just a few minutes ago, I received an email from one of my 'buddies' (whom I had lightly bonded with while doing the training) who now works at the organization, containing these words:

"Hi, there...

It took a while for it to come up, but I thought that might be you!  [The trainer and her assistant], the temp office help she had for a year, both quit last year around the end of July and middle of August.  Since then we have a new program manager..., and I’m doing the office work stuff as a part-time job...  

[The volunteer coordinator] is the person who’s most involved with the [position you inquired about].  I’ll send her your name and email.  There are more of these being done each year, and the people who specifically volunteered and trained to be Senior...Counselors are mostly not so interested in this part, and overburdened by them.

This is a first for us, to be offering a volunteer opportunity that’s not the Senior...Counseling.  It might wind up being a good fit [for you]."

She closed with enthusiasm and encouragement. 

Turns out, right now is a much better time for me to be applying to this particular organization. Last year would not really have worked.

We love to plan. We love to set goals. And good for us. Sometimes, though, when we let go and step back, we will experience the Universe moving on our behalf in significant and jubilant ways. 

Over the years I have learned to do more stepping back. And the Universe just keeps sending the goodies my way.

I am grateful.