Each month we include a reflection by a volunteer. This month we had no one volunteer to reflect, so I took the opportunity to do so. If you would like to share a reflection on your PV experience, please send us an email and we will include it in an upcoming newsletter and on the blog.
A VOLUNTEER REFLECTION by Jill Wallace
I’m channeling my volunteer self this month... It has always been a tricky line between volunteer and director. In my heart I am still that 21 year old, first time PV experiencing the wonder of what it means to be a PV.
Maybe it’s the holidays, maybe it’s being stuck inside for several days as Seattle is going through a deep freeze (it was only 14 degrees this morning!); but whatever it is, I have found myself reflecting on how much my life has been changed and impacted by a choice I made 17 years ago and how grateful I am to call myself a PV.
I was recently at a Dar Williams concert and she sang her song “The Hudson.” There is a line in the song that encompasses so many of my feelings toward the PVs. “If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you, helps you feel your life, protects you, cradles you and connects you to everything.” The PV’s have been that “something” for me.
When I first joined the PVs in college, I was pretty much just looking for an adventure over the summer between by junior and senior years. Little did I know how much that summer would change my life, forever. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. A world where it was my responsibility to reach out to others, to give a voice to the voiceless, to be part of a community, to support and love one another, to open myself up to feel, and to give myself time to reflect on my experiences and actions. I recently was doing a little fall cleaning and came across my journal from my first summer. Reading through the journal and my reflections was a wonderful, affirming experience. It reminded me of the “why” of what I do day in and day out.
After graduation and year of service with the Vincentian Service Corp, I have had the privilege of being fully immersed in the PV experience for the past 14 years. The people whom I have met, the places I have gone have left an indelible mark on my life. It has been a wonderful roller coaster of a ride so far. There has been laughter and tears, struggles and successes. Lots of prayers. Life long friendships have been made and loved ones have been lost. How would my life be different if I hadn’t found the PVs 17 years ago? I cannot even venture a guess…