Volunteering should always be something that is fun. Whether it is cleaning a park and getting all dirty or sitting and spending hours helping someone for a citizenship test there must be some sort of enjoyment from volunteering. Since this week was volunteer week I decided to have my weekly group of volunteers do something a little different. Every time the group of kids from Joliet Job Corp comes they see the kids from our day care, they get a few minutes with them and say hi but then after that it is time for work and then they have to leave the kids. I decided since we have so much help from the Job Corp group that we could give back to them and let them have some fun. The kids are usually on campus 24/7 and do not get out much so any interactions they have with other people is always a big deal for them.
There were enough kids so I was able to split them up between the different classes. Some were inside and some got to go outside and play. The children were instantly excited, they kept saying that they had new friends for the day and that their friends were there to play with them. One group that stayed inside and let the kids pick their 3 favorite books and the volunteers read with them. They read Dr. Seuss and also a book that was half in Spanish, one of the volunteers was able to practice her Spanish while having the kids help her with some of the words. The group that was outside ran around and played soccer, and I even overheard a few of the younger girls having discussions with the older girls about how they love Justin Bieber. When the volunteers had to leave I didn’t know who was more upset, the kids or volunteers. They all had so much fun hanging out with each other and interacting with different people for the day. The volunteers all were thanking me as they left, as if I had done them some sort of favor. It was really great to see volunteers enjoying themselves and really not even feeling like they were doing a service. Having fun and really enjoying giving back any making others happy is exactly what volunteer week is about.