Someone once asked me why I volunteer every week at Bountiful Baskets. It’s not like I’m not busy enough already. I have an extremely busy and demanding life. I have a beautiful family that cook for, clean up after, run a household for, play tag with…. I’m a mom; a jack of all trades! My kisses make pains go away, my hugs make fears go away, my tenderness makes people feel loved. I am a wife, a mother, a homemaker, a professional woman with my own staff and career. We are in the middle of starting our own business. I have personal goals and dreams that I give attention to. I have relationships that I make an effort to maintain. So why do I spend every Saturday morning getting up at the crack of dawn to volunteer for Bountiful Baskets when its only “suggested” once every 6 times?
The answer is quite simple really…..I volunteer for me. This is my “me time.” As parents and busy human beings, we spend so much time doing things for other people. We forget to do things that we enjoy. Or at least I did. I became a mom and I stopped doing everything that I liked to do that didn’t revolve around my child or wasn’t child friendly. My life, my whole being has become about being the best parent I can be, I sometimes forget to take care of myself and my needs. And sometimes my needs are to find something to do outside of my family (I know, it was REALLY hard for me to do! My whole life revolves around them, but for my own sanity, I needed to try to do something for myself), and volunteering was it…. I love volunteering, I love giving my time and watching this co-op flourish, knowing that I had a part in making that happen. I love feeling valuable and being a part of something extremely honest, useful and inspiring. I love that what I do matters, that I am changing people’s lives, more specifically, I’m helping Bountiful Baskets stay alive in my area so that it’s available to make a difference in my families life. I love that I have found a cause I can believe in again. With so much uncertainty in the world, I can look at something like Bountiful Baskets and know the integrity it stands for and be proud to be a part of that. I am proud that I can be a part of something that will change my life forever. Getting up at 4 or 5am every Saturday morning isn’t necessarily something that I look forward too, but the pay off I get in return exceeds the annoyance of the alarm clock….. So whenever anyone asks me why I get up every Saturday and volunteer, I simply just smile and say because I believe in this co-op and I don’t want it to go away.
The other reward is getting to meet new and interesting people; people who I may never cross paths with in life. I get to talk with them and get to know them. I’ve met some pretty good friends volunteering next to people. You tend to strike up some pretty good conversations while your carrying those boxes of fruit. The cabbage salad is a recipe from one of our participants in Bismarck named Ashley, she’s a regular volunteer at our site and she shared this recipe. I tried it and I love it! Even if you think you don’t like cabbage, try it, its pretty amazing!! And the asparagus is my version of something I saw at a restaurant. Dip it in ranch or eat it plain.