Underprivileged kids….the cause…the challenge…the satisfaction…the friends we made…or just plain old simple conscience?
Reasons aplenty, I thought I’ll go down the path of soul searching and put down on paper why I volunteer for Vibha.
About 4 years ago, I moved to the Bay Area and at that time my wife was (and still is) an active volunteer for this organization I knew nothing about. She called it Vibha and couldn’t stop talking about the organization, its people, their passion to make a difference and all this while having fun.
I heard the names over and over again – about the folks who were in the trenches, discussing passionately on the best way to make the most impact in a stranger’s life. I proceeded and met some of these folks, and to my absolute wonder, they were normal, down to earth, young, energetic people such as myself; the only difference being they had the greater good in mind and I didn’t.
Few months passed and I had made friends with most of these gems in today’s society long before the thought of volunteering came to mind. And one day, I took the plunge…to volunteer for the 2007 Dream Mile.
The energy was electrifying, the patrons ecstatic, volunteers doing tasks that I would have never thought I would do one day for a cause; moving tables, putting up signs, setting up booths, designing décor, the list was endless.
At the end of the day, I looked around, and I was surrounded by over 50 volunteers all in various levels of exhaustion from the prior 2 grueling days but every…every volunteer had a smile on his or her face and the look of immense satisfaction from being a part of something that was beyond what the eye could see.
The seed had been sown…
3 months later I volunteered for the Vibha Dandia in 2007 as a volunteer and was much more involved this time and was beginning to understand the bigger picture of what each of these individuals were enabling; It was a great event and we successfully supported over 1000 kids from the proceeds of that event; 1000 kids we will never know and never see in our lives.
I later came to know that some of the event leads was going through some personal challenges and professional challenges at the same time when they was organizing the event. And to be a part of something that supported 1000 kids, knowing that beyond their personal/professional challenges, someone was able to spear head an event with such excellence, keeping in mind what he or she was achieving, I decided at that moment, I will volunteer for Vibha.
Over the last 2 years, I have grown as an individual both spiritually and mentally because of this cause. I look back and see what I have achieved for this great organization and helped enable over 1500 kids with a future by leading the Dandia in 2008. I now function as one of the Action center coordinators for the Bay Area.
And the journey has just begun…
I don’t know what drives us to do what we do on a daily basis. Be it volunteering for Vibha or anything else. But as you read this blog, and are thinking “I don’t have the time”, you can still make a difference!
It’s usually one person, one act of generosity, one act of selflessness that touches or moves us to join the movement.
The call to action for all of us might come in many disguises, but come it will!
It is up to us to open our eyes, recognize them and act on it…