Why do I volunteer at Birthright? It sounds like an easy question but for me, it’s been a bit of an evolution. At first, when I realized I had some time to give and felt the need to give in a more “substantive” way than just strictly financial support, I looked to the people in my church community for ideas on where and how I could help out. Where would my time be well invested and provide me with a psychological and emotional return on investment? Several people whom I admired were volunteering at Birthright St. Charles and suggested I look into it.
Helping Families & Making Friends
At the time, I was unfamiliar with Birthright and began to do some online research into its mission and goals. I think, like most volunteers at the beginning, the opportunity to help moms have their babies was attractive. I downloaded the volunteer application, filled it out and submitted it. I was contacted pretty quickly and Birthright arranged for my training. After that, I found a time slot that met both Birthright’s needs and my schedule and became a weekly phone volunteer.
And in short order, I discovered that it did indeed feel good to participate in preparing moms in difficult circumstances to bring a new life on board. But there were other benefits I soon learned to appreciate as well. I was spending time with a group of volunteers who quickly became my friends and enhanced my life in a way I had not anticipated. I discovered there were other ways I could contribute to the well-being of the organization through the use of skills I had spent a good part of my life developing.
Empowering & Educating Women
But as time passed and I grew more invested in the time I spent at Birthright, I came to realize that I now perceived my role as much more. I was helping to educate women who were at the crossroads of one of the most difficult and impactful decisions they would ever make. I could be a part of helping them understand what was down each of the paths that lay before them. I felt good about contributing to a process that empowered women to make an educated and well-developed decision that laid out all the options and the implications of each of those options.
Volunteering at Birthright has become an integral and important part of my life and I am grateful to have been invited.