Mission Statement: The PV Volunteers are an ecumenical community of diverse individuals. By providing a service experience in a variety of settings, we respond to human need, form relationships and encourage change and growth both in ourselves and with those we serve.

Visit our website to find out more: www.pvprogram.org

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Volunteer Reflection

In our November PV Newsletter we included part of a reflection written by one of our volunteers, Amy O'Dea.  Here is the reflection in its entirety:

How can I say what the PV program really means to me?  How do you talk about the most influential experiences of your life?  Oh how I wish I could put into words how much this program has impacted me.
My life before PV was grand.  I was motivated, loved and had nothing to complain about.  I decided to go on an alternative spring break my freshman year of college.  My motives were completely selfish; I was only going to meet people, have fun and see a different part of the country.  I was warned this trip would change my life but never imagined the repercussions.
The PV program was a gateway to a world I could attempt to change.  The PV program instilled passion in me to be present to the abused, the addicted, the suffering and the unappreciated.  I was taught how to love the lost, the lonely and financially burdened.  Appalachia went from being a place on a map to my own personal utopia.  Welfare recipients went from being numbers on a page to individuals with names, stories and lack of opportunity.  The more involved I became with this program, the more meaningful my life became.
Because of the PV program I find myself in New Hampshire as an AmeriCorps VISTA.  I am the statewide youth coordinator for the Red Cross.  The PV program gave this Illinois gal the curiosity to ask what else is out there.  This program introduced me to a former VISTA who truly changed the world.  I was so inspired by this individual who played basketball with junior high students and spent his Friday nights with the homebound population that I signed myself up for a year of service.  I try to befriend the friendless, to listen to the unheard and somewhere in between all that I provide leadership opportunities to our future.  I have been carrying the PV charisma deep in my heart since I returned from my freshman spring break trip.
The other day I had the high school students I work with for an icebreaker draw what they will look like when they are seventy-five as well as where they will be.  Immediately I pictured myself smiling on my hands and knees repairing a home surrounded by majestic Appalachian mountains.  I could not picture my life any other way.  Why would I want to?  The program has done so much for me, why would I ever leave this?
March will mark six years since I came across the best thing that ever happened to me.  I almost feel like I am writing a love letter but the truth is I love the PV program.  I love this program so much I physically ache for summer to return the instant my car passes through the gates of Glen Fork Elementary School.  I love this program so much for giving me a mailbox full of pen pals and a nation full of family.  I love this program so much I illogically think I would die without this program. 
This program is more than a volunteer program; it is a community and a way of life.  This program is my motivation to get out of bed in the morning.  This program challenges me to live the life I envision for myself.  How empty my life would be without the presence of the best thing that has ever happened to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment