Archive for “random acts of compassion”

Volunteers nurture compassion throughout community

 

 Submitted by Kizzie Funkhouser

We are fellow volunteers that serve those in need,

Farmers of hope, we’re planting the seeds –

Weeding out obstacles when lives’ pathways are blocked.

Standing together, our diverse strands, woven to stalks

Of goodwill and compassion we nurture,

Strong – rooted in belief that every life matters

That dignity and respect have no boundaries or status.

We are young, we are old, yet we are the same

Our vision not of the chore, we see the faces, know names,

Know the look of appreciation and the sighs of relief,

Volunteers motivate, because we believe –

That making a difference is within our reach.

We are driven in faith that we can improve,

The quality of one’s life, it touches us too.

We are volunteers, we just are, we just do.

The man in the store without help, he can’t read the labels

But can cook up a meal befit the KINGS table,

There’s a woman independent but can no longer drive

Her eyes, they light up when you simply arrive.

Volunteers are a blessing, they just are, they just do.

 

Here are a few of our stories that represent the essence of volunteerism.

We extend our thanks to all volunteers whose compassion always gets the gold.

Let the games begin.

Gifts of Compassion from Volunteer Chore Services volunteers

Three stories

Living alone at age 90 is a challenge. With a limited income and her nearest family in Vancouver, she counts on VCS volunteers to help keep the home in shape, take her grocery shopping and to medical appointments. One volunteer visits weekly to vacuum, mop, fold laundry and change bed linens.

At 84, she is partially sighted and living with arthritis. She confided her fear that her yard would be “what sends me to a nursing home, because they say I can’t take care of it.” VCS volunteers totaled 100 hours that summer clearing her yard of weeds, blackberries, and debris, so that she is able to walk into her garden again.

 Living with stage 4 cancer and fighting through chemo treatments leaves him with very little energy. With the rainy season nearing, he knew the gutters needed cleaning but could no longer safely climb a ladder. VCS volunteers cleaned the gutters, swept off the roof and repaired some damaged spouts. He said they did a fabulous job and was so appreciative, not just for the work completed, but for the kind spirit in which it was offered.

 Volunteer Chore Services volunteers provided an average of 3,972 hours of assistance each month throughout King County last year, helping with housework, laundry, shopping, transportation, minor home repair and yard work.

 

 

You are compassion

Submitted by Dee Williams

Many people are studying compassion in order to introduce it into schools and other places. Some say it should be taught. Others have won awards for their programs that teach about compassion. Cities are touted as being the most compassionate. I guess this might be similar to the idea that “a corporation is a person”. Are we really ready to get serious about compassion? Even just saying the word may evoke a spark of “something” for you or me. I know that when I say or see the word it is as if I know it “compassion” intuitively.

My first impression about compassion was during my childhood when my pet hamster died. It was a sad time for me. But my friends and I decided to give the hamster a funeral. It was as if everyone came together to share my grief and help me get through that period of pain. I don’t recall that anyone laughed at the idea. I just remember that ceremony was just what I needed at the time.

I believe it is in us to be compassionate. We have an innate ability for compassion. I think it is linked to the same sense that tells us right from wrong. It is a felt sense of awareness about what is needed in a particular situation such as when a family member or pet dies. We have the instinctive response to feel sad for the person who lost a loved one (empathy) and the desire to perform some action that will help the other person feel better.

Compassion is part of our nature. It might be buried deep under some other emotion such as anger or fear making it difficult to fully express your compassion. If compassion is built into our human nature what does it take to nurture this quality? Can our innate compassion be further developed at all stages of our life? I think this is possible. I have read about great results from the practices of yoga and meditation to help many people open their hearts and allow their nature of compassion to grow. Once your heart opens you may begin to feel somewhat vulnerable to the ebb and flow of life. But it is our ability to connect with our own internal struggle for self-compassion that is the gateway towards directing our compassion towards others.

Instead of giving ourselves over to the struggles (obstacles) of life and feelings of defeat or hopelessness our practice of yoga and meditation guide us gradually to see the struggles of life with clearer vision and bring forth from within the strength and wisdom to overcome our obstacles. In learning the art of yoga and meditation we find the intuitive wisdom that reveals compassion as one of the many qualities built into our human nature. We also find the needed nurturing for opening our hearts.

And one effort to open hearts worldwide there is the Charter for Compassion and Seattle’s Compassionate City Proclamation. Check it out.

Dee is a local author and local instructor

She writes a blog at http://thekanjinyogacenter.blogspot.com/

Cascading kindness winds through a neighborhood

By Joel Levey

We were touched when a couple of our friends/students offered to come over and help us trim a tree with vines that was hanging dangerously over our neighbors’ power lines.  

They brought over their ladders and saws, we shared some chocolate and music with them and after a few hours had managed to trim the tree and remove the danger of our neighbors’ electricity being cut during an wind or ice storm.   I was very grateful and relieved!  While we were working on the project, I talked with a neighbor who I hadn’t seen for a while and who I had wondered about, with some concern if she was okay.

As it turned out, she had been seriously ill and was just regaining her strength and returning to work.  She commented that she’d love to trim one of her trees – which was much more to a scale that I could handle with the tools and ladder that I have, so I offered to help her to prune her tree, for which she was delighted and most grateful.

What a natural cascade of kindness and compassion flowing from one heart-life to another as needs arise that we have the power to help with.  May we all be blessed to receive and offer such kindness, helpfulness, and compassion to others and pay it forward.  

(Note – there’s a great video that captures the spirit of this this – posted at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU&feature=youtu.be )

“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” — Your Compassion Games Begin!

The Games Begin!
A kind and understanding word, a generous act, the surprise of an unexpected gift, or the warmth of a smile…you’ve shared these acts of compassion as either the giver or receiver, probably many times. And while you may be facing one or many hardships, you have a dream within you that keeps you sharing acts of kindness despite signs that would have caused others to stop long ago.

And that’s why the Compassion Games were created! The Compassion Games were created for you and everyone else to win by realizing your dream for great kindness, empathy, and compassion for yourself, others, and your world. If you let it, playing the Compassion Games can make you stronger and alter what you think can be.

So, how will you live your dream for a better world? Will you Do Good and surprise someone you know with a random act of compassion? Will you Volunteer for a United Way service project? Will you Tell A Story of compassion? Or will you Get SuperBetter and complete your quests for the Epic Win and help make a Golden Reality where no one goes hungry and no one gives up?

In the end, you know deep in your heart that no one wins if someone loses. And you know deep in your heart that everything’s gonna be alright because you’re gonna make it alright.

So this is your moment to really shine! Play the Compassion Games and Go For the Gold! Together we can make this world a better, safer, kinder, and more just place to be. Let the Compassion Games begin!