photo of Aina Haina elementary school library in Hawaii
Today I volunteered at our school library, which was not unusual. What was unusual was that I got to run the entire library! Awhile back I had started helping the librarian, Mrs. B., every Tuesday morning. I loved it, and looked forward to my time there. When Mrs. B. told me she was moving on to another job, and that there was no replacement lined up yet, I asked her what I should do about volunteering. She shrugged and said, just come in at your usual time and ask someone what to do.
So I got there this morning. There were some students being tutored at the back of the library, but no one else. I was told that since Mrs. B left, no classes were coming to the library. The job had been posted, but no one hired yet. After asking several staff what to do, I was allowed to log onto the computer so that books could be checked in and out. When word got out that someone was manning the library, a few people returned stacks of books, which I quickly checked in and re-shelved. Then a teacher popped her head in and asked if she could bring her class down, and I said, yes please do! Then the library was flooded with 6th graders each returning two books, rushing to grab two more, and standing in line to have me check them out. Those happy faces made my day. After everyone was taken care of, I finished re-shelving the returned items, tidied up the bookshelves, straightened out a section that very mixed up, and laminated a few new paperbacks. When it was obvious there were no more students coming, I left a note on the librarian’s desk, logged out, and went home.
If you’ve never experienced the joy of being a volunteer, look around you for an opportunity. It might be helping in your neighborhood, your church, your school, or a community center. It might be helping a disabled person clean their house, or giving someone a ride to doctor’s appointments. Whatever you find to do, do it with all your heart and you’ll be amazed at how blessed you feel.