Saturday, August 29, 2009

Through the eyes of a volunteer

Do we ever have enough time? It seems as we always end up not finding the time to do the things we wish we had time for..One thing is certain, we all have the same amount and it's up to us to decide what to do with it.
Volunteering and reaching out to help others somehow end up in the bottom of our Wish List. We wonder, where to we have what it takes? How can I find time to do it?
From my experience as a volunteer, once you start giving one hour of your busy week to care for others, you'll find out that it is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. Suddenly, our own problems look less complicated than we think. We remind ourselves more often, how fortunate we are to have good health .
Every visit is different and we are always surprised by new experiences. Last month we visited a facility in Kahului, an adult care center.It was raining that morning, we were not sure if our animals would get wet, but we went anyway.We had a joyful morning and once again, were so proud of our animals, for doing such a great job , being so easy on the touch..
On the next visit , as we entered the long-term care facility, there was a feeling of uneasy distress. Not the normal welcome, it was one of those days...The nurses were running back and forth between the patient's rooms and taking turns wheeling one of them, who was having a bad day and had to be moved around.The other residents were also affected by it. Our visit lasted one hour and, it was at the end of it that we had a chance to see this particular patient, who was very disturbed.
She didn't need to pet an animal, just to spend a couple of minutes with our Director, who prayed with her and calmed her down. As our visit ended, we had a feeling that those last minutes was the reason we were there..
For the most part, are our therapy animals who do the magic! It is to them the patients respond consistently in a positive way. We watch how patients who deal with pain on regular basis, seem to forget everything else and enjoy the moment with the animals.
June 08 - Camp Imua ( summer camp for kids with special needs)started with a field trip to Piiholo Ranch - zipline ride and pet therapy.We gathered most of our animals, dogs, ducks, roosters, rabbits, and guinea pigs and spent the day there.We had tents, comforters and chairs ready or the campers. They arrived in groups and we were busy all day handling therapy animals to the kids.It was an amazing experience. Count on me for next year!

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