That is how I felt today to be present at the memorial service for one of my volunteers.  Of course, two things you should know: one, I'm always honored to spend the time fondly remembering one who gave service and two, he really wasn't "mine."  Some of you know where I work, others only need to know it is a non profit community hospital.  My job is to direct the volunteer engagement for the health system.  One piece of our system is the support given to a medical outreach clinic run out of a church in an area of my city that has a high predominance of undocumented, disenfranchised, and often ignored individuals.  The beacon presented by the Pastor (and chief RN) of this church is nothing short of a miracle. This is where this volunteer gave his time...and heart.

They offer care in all areas of medicine, doctors donate their time for regular check ups, dental visits, and prenatal care.  The volunteer we remembered today was in charge of the meal vouchers.  He presided over the handling and handing out of the vouchers.  Four days a week, he would walk the 2 miles each way from his own humble apartment to the area of the city where the church is located.  They called him their one man social services department.  He would dispense the vouchers, along with advice, and recommendations on where one could find services for a myriad of issues. 

Never once did he question someone's need.  He did not judge.  He only loved, helped, and served.  Too often those of us privileged to have the things we do forget that it can all go away in an instant.  No one is served by heartless and thoughtless comments about those in need.  Until you've walked a mile (or four, in this volunteer's case) in someone's shoes, I kindly invite you to remember it could be you one day.  Or someone you love. 

I am truly blessed to work where I do.  Not only because it affords us food on the table, among other things, but because it teaches me beautiful lessons like the one that was reinforced for me today.   The service was short, but dignified, and lovely.  The family and friends that spoke for Nate remembered a loving man with a kind heart.  That is how I will remember him too, and I will always thank him for reminding me what is truly important.


I think this is the first time I've met you (if not, I apologize--I read a lot of blog) and I love you. This is gorgeous.

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