I’m currently trying to calm my heart rate after having just, well technically, completed a tick. One that I have spent many hours researching, enquiringly about and now working on. Here I am, nervous as hell but excited as anything at this achievement.
One of my favourite people in the whole world gave me this one to tick off. It was one that I knew couldn’t be taken on lightly, hence all of the time spent on it thus far. I will spending plenty of time on it moving forward too.
What is it?
“Volunteer for something close to your heart”. As in, my heart. They are the words as I received them from my friend.
I started looking in to this early on. I knew that I would end up doing something for animals, children or the elderly, because in my opinion, most people that don’t fit in to one of those categories generally can help themselves a lot more than the others.
I threw around ideas of the Ronald McDonald house, doing a food drive, doing a purely pet related food drive for Cat Haven and a dog shelter, and went looking at reading or entertaining the elderly. I don’t know what it was but none of them hit me right in the hard spot in my heart and made me go “yeah I need to volunteer for them”. I have volunteered for Starlight in the past and spent some eye opening months at Princess Margaret Children’s hospital volunteering for them. I knew that I couldn’t just shake tins for a day, or do something I had already done, for it to count as a proper tick on this list.
When I really thought about things close to my heart, I think of family, friends. People close to me. There was only really one thing that stood out from the crowd of possibilities here, and so I pursued an opportunity and wouldn’t let go of the idea that this was it!
When I realised what kind of organisation I wanted to volunteer for, I set out to the different websites. It’s a fairly small area and one that isn’t really known unless someone has gone through a similar situation to what our family did. I found only 2 foundations looking for volunteers. The first was only looking for mothers who had been through this, which ruled me out. I was the Aunty, I can be of some help, but not of the kind of things that a mum would live through.
I went to the second website and found their volunteer opportunities. My heart raced instantly when I saw right in front of my eyes exactly what was right for me. Exactly what I could help with. It is so ridiculously perfect in more ways than one its not even funny. A foundation for premature babies was looking for a volunteer blogger. I say ‘was’, because after setting my mind to it and sending them examples (from Twentynein and also a sample I wrote about my niece) they sent me an agreement. I found my voluntary opportunity and it is working with premature babies and those around them. A voice. I don’t even know where this is going to take me but it all starts somewhere and today, I published my first story with them. Kayla’s story.
Anyone who knows me, knows just how important family is to me, and just how much I adore my beautiful niece Kayla. Yes, because she is my only niece, but also because she is a miracle girl. Without giving away what I have written for the premature baby organisation, she was born at less than 24 weeks gestation and it was a very long and hard road from there. She is a little miracle baby and it took my heart to write about it.
I am not going to share the article with Twentynein just yet, and this is only because I have just published it and have not even shared it with Kayla’s mum and dad yet. In a few days when it has gotten around abit and I have had some feedback from the foundation, I will happily share it here.
I haven’t only ticked this off the list, but I have started writing for a blog that is not my own. I am writing for a blog with quite an audience and I am terrified and excited all at once.
Thank you to my dear friend Kristy for testing me in such a beautiful way, and thanks to my sister for allowing me to use her beautiful girl as an inspiration to so many.
There will be plenty more where this came from and it will go well beyond a certain thirtieth birthday.
Much love xxx