Yes, I actually survived with my anxiety concerning this volunteering opportunity.
If you read my post: What. Did. I. Agree. To!?? You’d know that I took another volunteering opportunity this summer and I was really nervous about it. Well, the event happened this past weekend and I actually had a great time!
Apparently it’s kind of a monthly thing, so it’s not only for the summer. It’s for one weekend every month. But still, it doesn’t phase me.
So, do you guys want to know what happened? I’m considering since you’ve read this far, you wanna know. Well, I really, really wanna tell you!
Now, if you told me that I was going to volunteer for children, for a SECOND time in the summer, I would laugh in your face. Because children? Again? Uhmmm…. no thanks.
But, after the first volunteering opportunity that I took last month, I actually spent time with the kids. (My Crew Leader Experience (with Actual Children)) I was their leader so it was kinda like I was like their caretaker and friend. It wasn’t that bad. I figured out that kids weren’t so bad. So why not take another chance to do it?
Well my anxiety was present the day that it happened. I literally opened the door and a whole bunch of families were in there with their kids, I felt like everyone’s eyes were on me and it was really overwhelming. There were no chairs for me because the kids were all sitting down, so I went to stand by the wall like a wallflower. I really don’t know how my mind thought up to stand by the wall, it just happened. I didn’t even know if I was in the right place for 20 straight minutes. In the room with the families, food was being served because it was after church, and I didn’t even know if I could eat the food. Then, thankfully, the pastor who asked me if I wanted to do this whole thing told me to go eat. Thank goodness, I was starving.
Then a little girl walked up to me, and apparently it was a girl that I took care of, who was in my crew in my last volunteering job! She was one of the few kids that I felt like I put an impact on. She was kind of my little support buddy through all of this, even though she was 9 years old. She was there to talk to me, it was kind of like I had a little sister.
Then, she had to go to the conjoining room with the other kids to start the activities and games. And I had to be in the meeting with the parents. It was R.E.A.L.L.Y. boring, but at least I knew that I was in the right place (My pastor told me I had to be in the meeting). Then after the meeting, we had another meeting with the volunteers (Don’t worry about my boredom level, it was a short meeting) There were only a few volunteers/helpers, because we were only helping with crafts and there weren’t like a building full of kids, maybe a room full of kids. I think there were 5 of us, maybe 6.
So we all got assigned to an age group, and they give these quirky names with the age group, because you know just saying age group whatever would be really boring. There were the Eager Beavers, The Builders, The Busy Bees, and a few more. I was the crafts leader for the Busy Bees, ages 6-7! I was really nervous because I’ve only taken care of kids ages 9 and up. I was scared of taking care of the delicate and rowdy age group.
So, once the kids got done with the games section they would race to the crafts table. I was scared. And the first problem occurred, they had to color a worksheet and there weren’t enough papers. Some volunteer passed out the papers, and I don’t think he had more. But I asked anyway, there was one more paper, but I needed another one. Then the director of the whole thing came and I told her and it was resolved. Hahaha, take that anxiety!
But there was another mistake. Glitter. Let me give you a piece of advice, if you’re ever with a little kid and you need to occupy them with an activity, give them glitter. But keep it contained. It was a mess. I didn’t even know what the glitter was for. You see, the craft leader person didn’t even show up, so my pastor was like you guys will only know what to do at the last minute. Well the guy who passed out the papers just said we were writing stuff down and coloring. So what was the glitter even for?
As you can see by the use of the bold tool, glitter was a BIG problem. I was so confused about the glitter, I didn’t know what to tell these very curious kids. Well, once I allowed a cute kid with doe eyes that he could use the glitter (should really work on that) the other kids started using the glitter, and it got… out of hand. They were barely writing and coloring. They were just… glittering. (It’s a word to me)
I felt like my table was the loudest of them all, the group leader of the kids, (the one who takes their attendance and takes care of them) she told me she had a lot of kids. And you know once someone tells you that… trouble.
Well, the kids were very, very cute. And they were also out of hand. There was one little girl who didn’t cause any trouble and did what she had to do, she’s the mvp of this group. The other kids?…..
Please don’t hate me for saying this, but it was a relief when it was over. But, I had a fun time! I really did! The kids were very cute, and although the glitter was too much, it was so delicate that a small thing like glitter brought them so much happiness and joy! And they also called me Ms. Rebecca and it was so cute. And a little girl had this pink bow headband and she (attempted) to put it on my head, but my glasses were in the way. Either way, it was so cute.
Near the end, some of the kids accidentally dropped glitter on the table, and put it on their hands and in the next few minutes, they had to go to the next activity. Well, thankfully help came and there were Lysol wipes. I’m saved, because my table had the most glitter. One of the volunteers came with the wipes, I thought he would just set them on the table, but no, he helped me. Helped me! And it wasn’t awkward, because he was making conversation with me! He talked about the kids at his table, and I talked about the kids at mine, and it just felt like such a relief. I wouldn’t really know if he was a friend, but the only people I talked to today were kids, and I really do love the kids. But, there’s just a comforting feeling talking to someone who’s the same age as you, and who you can talk to about how the kids were.
Trust me, there was a LOT of glitter to clean up, he helped me and then I watched the kids do their next activity. Then, when it was over, one of the little girls at my table hugged me! It was very much worth it! I might not have handled the kids as much as I would’ve wanted to, but it was worth it, and I’m going to progress in the next month, and the month after that.
I wasn’t really sure about it being a monthly thing. I thought if it didn’t go well once, I could kind of get out of the other months with a school excuse. But I don’t need to! I really do want to improve with the kids and I want to help more. The pastor thanked me at the end of it, and I thought I did make the right decision agreeing to his plea of help, I wouldn’t call it a plea but it’s the best word I could think of.
It was worth it, and hopefully I won’t have that much anxiety next time 🙂