Ashwini Kumar’s Vibha Journey!

Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means’~ Leo Buscaglia

This quote explains, to a large extent, what volunteering means to me. I volunteer to be able to love myself. I wake up at times beaming with pride and joy, thinking about the little but valuable time I spend doing something that helps a child who has lost all hopes of seeing a bright future. It is for this sense of pride and happiness that I volunteer.

As a person who loves meeting people and a person who is invigorated by team work, I think I have chosen the right venue to focus my volunteering efforts. I moved to Minneapolis in February of 2008, the coldest month of the year. My husband, Arun, who was already a part of the Vibha family, introduced me to the team. Vibha-MN volunteers’ energy,affection and the delicious potluck dinners kept me warm throughout the winter. It was then that I felt a sense of belonging to the city of Minneapolis. Since then I’ve tried to be involved in events and fundraisers that Vibha-MN hosts.

I have learnt a lot since volunteering with Vibha. My leadership skills evolved tremendously when I led Kalakaar for two years. It tested my organizing abilities. Leading Kalakaar made me realize how important teamwork is for the success of any project. My network, not just in Minneapolis, but all around the US, has grown through Vibha. Friendships have bloomed since I started to volunteer. I now have a great support system in a city far away from my hometown.

Vibha has given me a lot more than I have given Vibha, and I hope to continue volunteering for many more years to come.



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