At The Meeting House one of the secret ingredients to our success is keeping our community strong by providing volunteer opportunities to a diverse mix of students and adults.
Their reasons for volunteering are varied but most of them spent decades in fields highly relevant to the nature of the work they do with students at TMH. Unanimously they report that TMH is inspirational and motivational. The gifts of observing and discovering how the social and emotional growth in students empowers them and motivates them to return week after week, year after year. It is the uniqueness and depth of the relationships with the children that enhance all of our volunteers’ lives. The are symbiotically loving, kind and patient which reminds them that their volunteerism enhances their lives as much as those of the children. The TMH community is inclusive and caring and for many of our leaders it leads to a life-long journey of learning and the opportunity to grow and develop their own social and emotional skills.
We have many student volunteers who get introduced during their middle school and high school years as they look to fulfill community service requirements in their school. Often, they volunteer over multiple years and provide peer role modeling and mentorship in social skills to the same students year after year and build beautiful bonds. A few students have even gone on to college to study education or social work because of the impact that their volunteer experience had on them during high school.
Our TMH Social Worker provides training and support to our student volunteers and facilitates their success by providing regular feedback and opportunities for them to ask questions and learn more about child development. Our young volunteers describe their experiences as foundational. They enjoy the bonds with the participants, and over time, are proud to witness social and emotional growth in the children and in themselves. Setting examples of healthy relationships and how to form them while realizing that some children have challenges in creating healthy and sustainable friendships.
We also are particularly blessed to have many board members who have degrees in education, psychology and social work who contribute each week to our Meeting House magic and work with our after school students alongside our professional team. Our board is filled with people that bring wisdom, courage and passion to help us sustain a stimulating environment at The Meeting House.
TOP FIVE FAVORITE VOLUNTEER SHOUT OUTS
This month we want to take the opportunity to celebrate our volunteers and share why TMH is so special to them. We are so grateful to have them as an integral part of our community!
Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week because I volunteer in the Juniors Program at The Meeting House. I look forward to seeing the children and playing a part in the magic that happens each and every week. Being able to help children that are struggling and seeing the change from week to week as they gain more confidence and learn new skills is so fulfilling for me.
TMH Board Member and Educator
The most interesting or unexpected thing that I have learned from the students at The Meeting House is a new sense of patience that I’m mastering. I hope I can help the kids I work with feel more comfortable in the group environment.
TMH Student Volunteer, Columbia Preparatory School
I don’t walk, I run to the Meeting House on Wednesdays-my volunteer day.
TMH Parent Volunteer
By far my favorite part of the afternoon I spend at TMH is simply being in the classroom with the children and seeing them learn and use the skills we are giving them. I also relish in the fact that they tell it like it is and give it to you straight all the time. Children make me happy, even when they are a challenge. II know there is soooo much to learn as I master the meeting house universal language. It has been at least ten years since i was in a classroom. The games have changed, the consoles have changed, the superheroes have changed, (pokemon is still the same) but children are children are children..they need guidance, boundaries, love, and attention and a chance to be their best present and future selves.
MH Board Member, Social Worker, Educator
My favorite part of volunteering weekly at The Meeting House is forming bonds with the children. I enjoy seeing them grow emotionally and socially. When I walk into the classroom, I feel the positive energy from the children. The kids forming relationships with me makes me feel like I am coming back each week for a reason.
TMH Student Volunteer, hgh school student, Thorton Donovan