Allison grew up on the east side of Wauwatosa, and now is a music teacher who lives on the west side of Tosa with her husband Nick. She enjoys working with a couple local non-profits, playing out with her wind quintet, listening to live music, attending arts events, baking, cycling, and wine.
I recently read one of those lists a friend linked to on Facebook - I believe this is the one: 37 Things You'll Regret When You're Old. There are some great points made - and let's just say, this article made me reconsider my own bucket list!
An item on the list that pleasantly surprised me was "not volunteering enough." Most of the rest of the list was somewhat self-indulgent. But this - volunteering - is something far from that.
In 2013 I was very privileged to be hired as a part-time House Manager at the Ronald McDonald House here in our great town (yes, currently amidst the mess that is Watertown Plank Road...). I knew they did phenomenal things there, but little did I know how truly important and necessary their services really were.
Beyond that, I got a great education on volunteerism. Between the 500+ regular volunteers that come in and out (driving vans, making up rooms, etc.), the dinner groups that serve, companies that decorate the House, make cookies, etc. WOW. I often wonder what it would cost if the House had to actually pay people to do such things. They most certainly would not be able to stay in existence.
I personally have just been awe-struck by the commitment of the volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, to the point that they have completely inspired me to get out and volunteer. I started doing so with a couple local places, as I can. And you know what? I really look forward to my visits every single time. Although it's work, it is so not really work. It is assistance, it is opportunity, and it is heart-warming.
In 2014 it is my hope that others might consider volunteering someplace in our community. Short-term, long-term, for a project here or there, anything - be proactive! It is such a magical experience - don't let it be something you'll regret not doing when you're older ;-)