I’ve been thinking this week that I should really get back into volunteering … it’s something that I’ve done on and off over the years, but to be honest, I’ve been on a short break for over a year now! As I’ve been mulling over my next move (you can’t rush these things), I was reminded of some really happy experiences I had volunteering as a child.
My introduction to volunteering came at a young age – I was still at primary school. We had a beautiful couple in their sixties living across the road from us. Mr and Mrs Pitt were like family and because they had never had children of their own, they took a keen (supervisory) interest in the kids in our street.
They had a great sense of community and volunteered regularly for Meals on Wheels. During school holidays I used to join Mr Pitt on these delivery days and I LOVED IT! I was in charge of the clip board that listed all the names and their addresses, as well as the map (being from a small town, it was a single page). I suspect Mr Pitt new the drill off by heart, but he was very sweet in letting me be supervisor for the day. As the youngest child in my family I wasn’t often the boss of anything, so this was really special.
I was also fascinated by the meals, which seemed extremely posh to me - and there were three courses! There was always hot soup, followed by a main course in a foil container, and a cold dessert.
We would take these offerings in to the house, and usually straight to the kitchen where a table would already be set for lunch. The best part was the little chat we had with our elderly customers. I think they really enjoyed having a young visitor, even if it was only for ten minutes. They would ask me about school, tell me I was a great help, generally admire me, and try to work out if they knew my parents (and usually they did). I was pretty keen on the attention.
I was also usually rewarded with food – perhaps a gift of a biscuit or a chocolate. At the end of the shift Mr Pitt would sometimes send me home with a leftover dessert … free custard!
I have really happy memories of those days helping out with Meals on Wheels. It was such a great experience to have as a child, and I’m grateful that Mr Pitt took me on as his apprentice. Hopefully I’ll be able to find another volunteering opportunity this year … one that fits in with my life and makes me feel happy (or provides me with custard).