VOLUNTEER to SERVE
By Cyndi Sikora
It has occurred to me that a lot of us, parents in particular, probably have never been taught, or
learned how important volunteering is to family and community life. When my kids were in
high school, they insisted on the need to do service to get a good grade in some classes. When
I mentioned the service they were already involved in, that, initially, was not good enough to
satisfy the requirements according to them. They wanted to work at a soup kitchen or visit a
nursing home. Something they had not done (although they had performed at nursing homes
with their dance studio). Not a bad thing, but the time commitment or scheduling of something
like that was next to impossible with our full life at the time.
Through the years, I think they have come to realize that if volunteering is already built in,
service is a part of life, fun, and it’s OK that way. Through them, I too have seen the service that
I do in a different way and how it has impacted our family and the community.
Most of my volunteering I did not consider as volunteering until I had this realization. Singing
and dancing have always been stress relievers for me. So, when I was younger, I performed in
community theaters after work and on weekends. I took my acquired business skills and was
on the board of one theatre group. I sang in the choir at church because the director, who also
was a part of the community theatre scene, offered free voice lessons if I sang at multiple
services on Sunday. At this same time, I was approached and asked to be the mascot for a
semi-pro hockey team because of the acting and cheerleading I had done in the past, and
because of my love for the sport. All of this was just fun and gave me something to do.
Another way I volunteered since the age of 17 was by taking the time to give blood, especially
at Christmas time as a gift. Since I was not able to financially help others, this became an easier
way to fill an obligation I felt I had. Donating gently used clothing and household items was
In my mind, the first time I really volunteered was as a Big Sister for the Big Brother/Big Sister
organization. Thinking back, even that was done so I could do kid things like go parades and
concerts, and ice skating with someone. I didn’t want to look foolish going to these things by
myself. But, to this day, I love doing these things (Gal 5: 13-26) and even volunteer at these
types of events intentionally because of it.
And so it continues (Phil 1: 18-26). Past experiences and this realization, given to me by the
Holy Spirit, has taught me it’s OK to enjoy volunteering and the service that I do. Sharing my
time with a city skating club, school committees, parish and other ministries, and with small
businesses, like the dance studio, are precious moments of my full life. Some may see it as
work and one more thing to do. Is it really?