It’s hard to believe it’s July already. June was a month of craziness and fun. We held our first BEANS N BREWS Family Fun Day fundraiser. It was a good day…but one thing we were lacking was VOLUNTEERS! A few key players had family or personal emergencies which left us short, and we didn’t get quite enough to sign up in the first place, But overall, it seems as though this is a definite WIN and we’re already looking at what to do and how to improve for next year!
I mention the volunteer situation, because as an all volunteer organization, and as a volunteer for many groups over the years, it’s a situation that is a sticking point for us and other groups. People and Time are two very rare commodities these days. Work schedules, family commitments, and certainly the number of organizations in need of assistance put a strain on the two most needed resources.
For the past few years at AAW, we have had groups of students filling our volunteer slots. These kids and their staff really have been making a difference for us, and we hope they’re getting something back from us as well. But like most student programs, they are all “OFF” for the summer months and we find ourselves short handed for our regular schedule. During the times the kids are “absent” we have tried to lighten our menu, lighten our work load and make it a more relaxed time for the remaining staff. It hasn’t always been a successful ideal – summers seem to fly by and there’s no “easy living” in our mission.
There is that old saying that no one ever leaves this life wishing they had spent more time at work, or less time with our families. No one’s fancy car or huge house leaves the planet with us, and we certainly can’t empty our bank account for our final destination. Having suffered the loss of mother, father, father-in-law and many friends who have also lost parents over the last 18 months, how we spend our time in life is very much in focus these days.
I read so much about what we are missing in life – the simpler days of drinking from the hose, playing outside ’til dark, and just being with one another. At the same time, I see the posts for bigger and better kids’ birthday parties, weddings that cost more than my house, or baby/bridal showers that are more elaborate than Princess Charlotte’s christening. I, for one, miss a simpler life. Sure, I have my face in my phone as much as anyone – but for me, it’s a communication tool…I got to wish my mom’s cousin a Happy Birthday – without my mom around, I’m not even sure I’d know when it was (i’d forget my own birthday if someone wasn’t around to remind me), so that was great. I use Face Book to find out what’s going on in town and after many years of being a receptionist/administrative assistant, I admit I’m not fond of talking on the phone and enjoy the modern convenience of sending a text or email to let folks know I’m thinking of them. But it’s still just a means to an end…I’d rather have coffee with you in person!
So as I once again ramble on with the back story leading up to THE POINT, I have a two-sided message for you to contemplate as we enjoy the beauty of a New England Summer.
This year, I mean it – I have,for the last few months, heard from my family, “You never have time anymore”. And, sadly, they’re right. I have been so busy with work and projects and events outside of my home, that there has been very little living done in my life. So, this summer, All Are Welcome will be simpler. My family will be priority and as much as I love those we serve, I cannot do good for you all, without taking some time to be good to me. We will again be CLOSED for some family vacation time in early August, for a long overdue vacation. Though I have twinges of guilt when we cannot serve those in need, my immediate family is very much in need of my presence as well. The August menu will feature the closing dates, which will be posted soon.
My second hope, as you read this is that you will look at your time and your schedule and consider donating some of that to All Are Welcome in the near future. We are always overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who offer time for our Thanksgiving meal. While we are always extremely grateful for this outpouring of community involvement, our weekly mission is the much larger part of what we do to serve our community. Teens (14+), retirees, mom’s, with any level of experience are all encouraged to be a part of what we do! And since it’s a “casual” summer, we can work to fit your schedule! We have several “parent/child” teams that come together, so consider spending time with your youth working together to build our community! Our current schedule has Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday opportunities, with the greatest need being Thursdays! Please contact us at 774-419-3982 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time and support and I hope to meet more of you soon!