A Thousand Acts

By Cathy McCann

  • My Experience
  • Photos

There comes a time in most volunteers' experience when one wonders, "What good am I doing? Is this just some privileged person's fantasy of doing good?" The need is so large and so challenging that I feel like I am tilting at windmills.

Slowly I note those volunteers that have gone before me - I read their journals, look at their comments, talk to some of those who have been volunteered elsewhere or been at my location longer. It dawns on me that volunteering with a good organization provides a continuity of volunteering that keeps going long after I'm gone. When I read the writings of previous volunteers I recognize that we share the same frustrations, the same tasks, and often the same kids. I was part of wave that washes over those we touch. Step by small step we engage a child, provide a little human contact where there might not have been enough, give a little more attention a child whose overworked caregivers might not be able to provide. During my time in India, over the Thanksgiving to Christmas season, I was touched by the disparity of childcare between that world and mine. I was privileged to perform as Santa Claus and helped teach the kids to sing "Jingle Bells" so they could create a Christmas Pageant. It was a surreal experience, sweating in my Santa suit in the Delhi sun, as I handed out candy and shook the hand of most of the children. It's a small act, really. One of a thousand small acts.

Additional Info:

Trip Duration: 3 Weeks
Country: India
When: December 2011
Travel Provider: Cross-Cultural-Solutions
Volunteer Experience Type: Human Services / Education

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