Volunteers' Corner: Ciel Estacio

Ciel facilitating a session on children's rights
during the Mission Camp in Hacienda Malihao, Victorias City

1. Take time off
Volunteering entails taking time off from your busy schedule at work, in school, your everyday life.   Know that the time you are willing to commit to volunteering is a priceless gift to our society.
Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, so beautifully captured the essence of the gift of time when he said that “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.” 
It does not matter if you volunteer on a full-time, part-time, or occasional basis.  What is important is that you are willing to share a portion of your time for a worthwhile cause.
2. Talk   
Talk and open up to your co-volunteers and to the people you are going to minister or serve.  Communicate your interest in knowing more about them — their experiences, their concerns, their needs, their goals and their dreams.  Sincere and meaningful conversations establish trust and confidence, and build bridges of friendship.
It is important to know and understand where people are coming from in order to respond to them appropriately.   Learning about the predicament of other people will make you more open-minded and more compassionate, less judgmental, and less critical of others.
3. Teach 
Teach by sharing your experiences, imparting your knowledge, and offering your God-given talents.   Share and teach God’s love, compassion, and good news by setting a good example.
Remember to keep an open mind and an open heart.   Bear in mind the words of the Roman philosopher Seneca:  Docendo discimus.  It means by teaching, we learn.   As we commit to teach others, we also prepare to be enriched by them.
4.  Touch
Reach out your hand and touch people, literally and figuratively.
You can connect and speak to another person through the healing power of touch.  A gentle tap on the shoulder, a consoling stroke on the back, a friendly hug, and other comforting gestures can convey the message of love, caring, understanding, and acceptance.
Touching the lives of others is inevitable as you carry on with your volunteer work for VIDES.  As the writer Leo Buscaglia aptly put it, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”   
Touch the lives and hearts of others.  Let your life and heart be touched in return.
5. Transform  
It is said that, By sharing yourself with others, life begins to find its meaning.”     Indeed, one of the amazing joys of volunteering is not just what it does for those we serve, but how our own lives are transformed by the experience.
Transform yourself, aid in the transformation of others, and, in your own little way, help transform our world into a much better place.   By volunteering, you are given the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others.   Let yourself be an agent of transformation.  Help in creating an dynamic wave of positive change in our society.
Share you time, talent, and skills.  Be an agent of change.
Be one for others. Be a VIDES volunteer!

Ciel, an HR Manager in a government agency, has been volunteering for VIDES since 2005.  As her contribution to the education advocacy, she has set up "Project Lakbay Aral".  The said initiative aims to let underprivileged students and out-of-school youth take the fun and interactive voyage of discovery through visits to museums and other places of historical and cultural significance.   In her spare time, Ciel blogs about her adventures at Happy Blue Thoughts

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