It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Well people say that at least.  But I think it can also be one of the hardest times of the year, for many.  The weather, at least in New England, is getting colder and times are still very tough for people who are out of work or who are struggling just to get by in the job they currently have.  So I am hopeful that this time of year also reminds us of the blessings we have in life.  I know I’m very thankful to have a warm roof over head, plentiful food to eat, a job I love, and friends and family that mean the world to me.  Therefore I think, at this time especially, I like to see how I can try to help others.

Earlier this year I started volunteering through an organization called Boston Cares.  It was founded in 1991 by six young Boston professionals looking to become more involved in their community.  They found that it was often difficult to balance volunteer projects with their busy lives and that many projects involved a long-term commitment that they were unable to make at the time.  Boston Cares was born.  They offer a wide array of programs and opportunities that make it easy to volunteer no matter how busy you are.  Each month they manage over 200 direct service volunteer projects.  There are projects for the individual, family, youth, everyone!  You just go to an orientation session and then you are ready to go!  You can browse or search all projects or narrow it down by interest or area of Boston.  It’s really pretty amazing.

A few months ago I happened across an opportunity through Boston Cares to serve dinner at the Boston Living Center.  I was looking for a volunteer opportunity that would fit with my new work schedule and as soon as I saw one that involved food I was hooked.  🙂

The Boston Living Center is actually in the same building as The History Project which I wrote about last month.  The BLC is New England’s largest community and resource center for people living with HIV/AIDS.  People come to the center for food, friends, holistic health and more.  They serve lunch to its members Tuesday through Friday and dinner on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

It has been such a wonderful experience.  Everyone, from the members to the staff to the other volunteers are so friendly and appreciative.  I really enjoy going there.  I have to admit that sometimes after a long day or week it can feel like the last thing I want to do but I’m always happy I go.  It is not only a fun way to spend a few hours but it also puts life in perspective and I think that’s something we all could use…not just in December..but every month of the year.

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