Even though I have always enjoyed volunteering for various community service projects I was still a little anxious about my first volunteer event with Extreme Community Makeover (ECM). I knew I wanted to do something in the community, and preferably something outside to enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather, but I had signed up as an individual volunteer so I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t quite sure what I had gotten myself into.
So naturally as I woke up that morning and I thought to myself, “Do I really want to go do this? If I don’t go, is it really going to make that much of a difference?” Still with some angst, I made the decision to get out of bed and honor my commitment.
After three years of volunteering with ECM, I am so happy I made that decision. The first volunteer event is the one where I met one of the homeowners we were helping. She had lived in her neighborhood for multiple decades and shared the story of how her husband bought their current home and surprised her with it. She recalls shedding tears, but not tears of joy. Although grateful for the home, they were tears of shock because of the amount of work the house and yard needed. But with the help of her husband they built the space into the home they were proud to live in throughout the years.
Sadly her husband had passed away and she was left to maintain the property, which is why she was so grateful we were there to help. All she needed was some yard work and painting but to her it was a tremendous amount of work to do by herself. She worked side by side with us throughout the day constantly sharing her appreciation for us being there and her eternal gratitude for helping.
Although my personal contribution was small, it made a difference in her life and it also made a difference in mine. It served as a reminder that sometimes even the smallest decisions that we make can be the biggest positive impact to someone else.
Carol – ECM Logistics Team Leader