Vandaeh Works



The Many Gifts Of Volunteering Article

Over the years as well as being blessed with some wonderful work in my everyday with helping those who are ready to change, step outside the comfort zone in life and review their inner thinking, I have become a "Serial Volunteer", especially in working with young people.

Over the last 4 years I have given nearly a month of my time during late July and August to help in supporting a residential holiday project for young people aged 8 to 13, where I have driven a minibus from place to place and shared an abundance of laughter (and experience) along the way. Although it's always 24/7 hands on and hard work, it's also brilliant fun, very enjoyable, and I have gathered a wealth of golden memories to remember, which always make me smile. It's also a great way to meet like minded people. I also meet with some our of local teenagers in Peterborough for inspirational evening talks, and on Christmas Day for the last 9 years I have been with the Salvation Army helping to share a little light hearted company and conversation, and serve a festive meal to those who would normally be by themselves on Christmas Day.

I thought I'd amuse you with a story from last Summer's young people's project. There are of
course several amusing stories I could tell, and I feel really blessed as each experience has given me more understanding, but this is the one that made me think quite deeply about the consequence of every action ...
"WWVS"

I arrived back at base one afternoon after a programme of events and found this fabulous artwork on the fridge door which really made me laugh - the "WWVS" stands for "What would Vanessa say?" - haha!! You may remember we had a wonderful warm summer and I was encouraging everyone to drink as much water as they could as I have been greatly influenced by Dr Batmanghelidj's book "The Bodies Many Cries for Water", in which he shares his belief that the biggest problem with human health is severe dehydration. I was doing as he directed and when young people were complaining of discomforts such as headaches or leg cramps I just sat with them and asked them to drink 2 glasses of water. As they were doing this I'd give some hand reflexology and listen to whatever issues were happening in their lives, and within minutes they would run off as if nothing had happened - RESULT! One of the young lads was particularly astounded and said - "WOW - how did you do that - I want to do that when I get older!" and a couple of days later I overheard him tell the other boys in his group it was the "Power of Love"! How FAB is this?

This amazing artwork reminded me of the empowering effect of words and during the last few months in general conversation I have heard a lot of people say something like: I thought to myself "What would Vanessa say?", so these gentle reminders have inspired me to consider even more the importance of listening carefully to everything that others are saying and lacing every word and action of my own with plentiful supplies of love and gentleness. Ultimately we have two ears and one mouth which is perhaps a physical reminder to listen twice as much as we speak. This message to me was another gift of understanding that came through giving, and a reminder that the best way to help yourself is to help others, wherever you are drawn to be in life.

It's really great that volunteering seems to be trending these days with many people helping others with different projects in various ways. I recommend taking advantage of any opportunities which may present themselves as I believe whatever we give with love and unconditionally comes back to us in unlimited ways, and the satisfaction and fulfilment of helping out and sharing an abundance of happiness and smiles is super rewarding. Be a "Yes" person and have fun**

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