*NOTE: Words Underlined Connects To Link*
Hawaii was finally happening, I had planned the trip from start to finish and we would celebrate Charles' birthday on the island of Maui. As we boarded our second plane, I was excited about the idea of reading, sleeping, and listening to music. I planned to relax during that five-hour plane ride so I would be ready to hit Hawaii fully energized.
I got up to walk and stretch my legs, when I noticed a stewardess sitting with an elderly woman in distress. I announced that I was a critical care nurse and offered assistance. After a quick assessment, I determined the elderly woman was having an anxiety attack. I shared a few relaxing breathing techniques with her, which segued into a discussion about family and grandchildren.
I informed Charles of the situation and remained seated next to this sweet lady for the last three hours of the flight. We talked the entire time and when we landed in Maui, I knew enough about this woman to write a book on her life. That small act of kindness made a huge impact on an elderly woman traveling alone to attending her grand daughter's wedding. Our trip to Maui was amazing from start to finish and the decision to serve instead of relax actually energized me.
Prior to moving from California, Charles and I were very active in Community Service and Volunteering. One of the last organizations we worked with was Covenant House California.
Our service there allowed us the opportunity to plant seeds of hope into the lives of young adults.
As One Charity was another awesome organization we connected with, after meeting the amazing founder Brandy Z. Charles and I were in the process of leaving California at the time and therefore was not able to fully engage. However, we continue to follow the growth and success of As One Charity, which is truly an inspiration to our journey.
Upon our arrival to Nashville, we decided to look into volunteering opportunities, which led us to the Nashville Rescue Mission. We signed up around Thanksgiving and our first event was the
Praise Symphony. Charles and I were impressed by the community response and turn out for this event. However, the deciding factors for us to get involve with the Rescue Mission were the testimonies of the men in the program and the amazing staff, specifically Sandra B-P.
We met Sandra for the first time at the Praise Symphony and it was like meeting a long lost-friend or family member. Little did we know, God would use that connection with Sandra as a set up for the amazing living experiences we would share in Nashville.
The Nashville Rescue Mission became a part of our purpose and we began to volunteer on a regular basis-offering to assist in whatever capacity that was needed. The mission offers a variety of volunteering opportunities. We served in the mission's kitchen, radiothon, praise symphony, Tracy Lawerence turkey fry, and Heart of Hope Luncheon-just to name a few events.
Charles is currently celebrating one year of volunteer service, as a facilitator for a monthly, two-day workshop on job interviewing skills for the men in the program. I am currently a volunteer on the Hearts of Hope committee, for the second year straight.
We were honored, last year, to receive an award during the volunteer appreciation luncheon. As we stood on the stage to accept our award, we were touched to look out among the large audience and see our village of at least 20 people cheering for us. We came to Nashville with zero contacts, and as a result of our service at the Nashville Rescue Mission, we have been blessed with a growing community of amazing, beautiful, people.
After becoming residents, we discovered that Tennessee is known as "The Volunteer State."
There is always an opportunity to serve. In order to be the change you want to see in the world around you, start now and serve where you are! (Diane) ~OneLove
"LIFE'S MOST PERSISTENT AND URGENT QUESTION IS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR OTHERS?" ~MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.