A very interesting phenomenon has occurred here at the Parenting Program. Four individuals have returned to volunteer after a 19 to 20 year long hiatus from their Parenting Program roles, all in the past month! Two of the four ladies still have their initial volunteer badges. They are all unaware of whom the other 3 returning volunteers are, but they fondly remember what the program meant to them.
Here are a few memories of the early days of their experiences as volunteers:
“I remember calling the new moms I was assigned to, initially hearing their timid and apprehensive voices on the other end of the phone, then after the 3 months of contact, I could hear confidence and certainty in their parenting skills.”
“I will never forget the first group I participated in as a new parent. I felt awkward and shy. When the 12 meetings ended I felt empowered and more confident of my parenting skills. With my new found confidence, I decided to come back to lead 2 groups. That was 20 years ago! It is hard to image, but I still keep in contact with those parents and their families, we stay connected and meet fairly often.”
“We were a small group of parenting volunteers; we took this new responsibility with great pride and esteem. We were small but mighty; calling mom’s, leading groups and visiting families. We all just chipped in. “
“Knowing that I connected with at least one uncertain mom and made her feel like she had a life-line out there in her parenting journey, helped me to feel like I was making a huge difference in tomorrow’s future. Having this impact on others is what helped me make the decision to return to a place that is warm, welcoming and accepting to all new parents. Even though as a new parent myself, the road led me to different paths in life and the hectic journey of raising a family was never ending, I knew the road would lead me back here eventually. So here I am, returning after many years of volunteering in other arenas. I know this is truly the right place for me as a volunteer.”
We appreciate each and every member of the Parenting Volunteer Team. These 4 returning volunteers expressed great pride in being the early volunteer core of this “upcoming program”. They were not surprised to hear about the growth and expansion of the program over the last 30 years.
I am fortunate to meet most of the new and returning volunteers, as I am the on-boarding staff. I love to hear the wonderful stories and reasons why Parenting Program Volunteers begin or return to volunteer.
— Kim Moerschell, Parenting Program Coordinator