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Unexpected Transformations – Episode #30
This week’s podcast is highly personal and reflective – as our storytellers share how they’ve been changed since re-entering their daily lives after their volunteering experience.
Julia says she was transformed on the Blackfeet Reservation at a Sweat Lodge ceremony. “I almost see myself as who I was before the Sweat and who I am after. I felt such a profound sense of connection to not only the locals, but to all of humanity. It was powerful, really powerful.”
Kate was “ready to pack up and join the Peace Corps,”after serving in Mexico and Ecuador, saying she struggled with how to employ her insights from volunteering. “How was I going to continue this shift in my life, knowing that leaving for two-and-a-half years wasn’t an option?” So, she made a shift in her career to satisfy her craving for more meaning.
Volunteering with his sons in Tanzania was transformational, Tom said, because “seeing (them) grow and display their values, working in the orphanage in a philanthropic way” was one of his singular, proudest moments outside of daily life.
Gabe said months later now after his program, he has a profound sense of “needing to make the world better.” In his busy life, he misses opportunities to help people. “I think, holy smokes, I’m so lucky. Through volunteering, you kinda get disrupted (in a good way).”
Marek offers a very long view – that of a host for volunteers who sees their impact on Polish students over more than 20 years. “These young people are the leaders; the future of our country. They are the second or third generation of people who learned English from Global Volunteers.” Year after year, he says, volunteers transform his community in unmeasurable ways.
Everyone has a moment of transformation when serving others whole-heartedly. It takes risk, and it might not be evident immediately, but this shift is surely to catch up with you during moments of deep reflection. It’s healing, and it’s lasting.
Episode storytellers: Julia, Kate, Tom, Gabe, and Marek