Volunteering changes the way you see your world and your place in it. Seeing the world through the eyes of another can be a moment of profound transformation. For many volunteers they can never be the same again.
As a volunteer you will be able to connect meaningfully with others, hear their stories and strip away the false illusion of differences that artificially separate us. Only from here can we allow the concerns of another to become our concerns because we understand more fully that our fates are intertwined.
Volunteering is something everyone should consider doing at some point in their life, for many it is the only way to enjoy a tiny experience of what life is like for others. Our catalyst for volunteering is usually a desire to help or to solve a problem. Therefore our experiences often begin as responding to perceived needs through providing a ‘service’. Before long we are engaged in acts of 'charity' as we seek 'justice' and support 'peace'. Before long many volunteers become so informed about the systemic causes of inequity that their volunteering starts to also include 'advocacy' for the disempowered and even 'activism' to draw attention to unmet rights.
We have learned that through the dislocation that comes from regular contact with poor and marginalized people, our eyes are opened and our hearts are transformed. Our volunteers know that we become ever more conscious of this transformation as we reflect on our experiences in the light of our sacred stories and our collective mission. Providing a long list of volunteer opportunities is one of the ways the Christian Brothers and the Edmund Rice Network supports people to consider more deeply;