Yeah, I know the title got your attention! So let’s just jump right into it, shall we?
At New Beginnings we recently had a Thanksgiving Dinner in place of our regular Thursday night group session. Everyone brought a dish to pass and we had an amazing meal of turkey, cheesy potatoes, salad (made by staff), corn bread dressing (Shaneka), homemade mac n’ cheese (Dana), green bean casserole (Resident Assistants), apple pie (Volunteer, Lisa), and more! What a blessing.
After the meal, we had a short devotion and then wrote down some of the blessings in our lives. I was surprised by the range of answers: friends, family, sharing this meal together, police officers, education, toys (yes, kids were present, but I am thankful for toys too!), and Jesus, were just some of the answers. One of the blessings that surprised me most was “haters,” and I can honestly tell you it was written down by more than one person. Now before I go any further, let’s see how Urban Dictionary defines a “hater:”
Brianne Kluge is the Home Manager at New Beginnings. She grew up in Marshall, WI and graduated from Lakeside Lutheran High School. Brianne has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. In her free time, she enjoys singing, camping, refurbishing furniture and spending time with her fiancé, Daniel.
Henry David Thoreau reminds us of this with his quote:
“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.”
On our heavenward journey, we will face trial and tribulation and days that leave us feeling worn and weary. But throughout it all, we are to keep our heads up knowing that the things of this world don’t matter compared to how the Holy Spirit is working in our hearts to strengthen our faith in the God who already has our life perfectly planned.
All the way from San Diego, California, Cait Seastrand is a Junior Sports and Exercise Science major at Wisconsin Lutheran College. God-willing, she will be a physical therapist for children, soldiers, or academy cadets for the police and fire departments. Until then, she is very thankful for the opportunity to have a family away from home here at New Beginnings.
Take a minute to think of all of the volunteers you encounter on a regular basis.
Here are a few places that come to my mind where I see volunteers in action:
* In schools, tutoring and mentoring young people
* Working as volunteer firefighters
* Coaching a youth basketball team or leading a scout group
* Raking leaves for the elderly couple next door
* Baby-sitting the kids while Mom and Dad are at work
* Filling positions in your church, such as teaching Sunday School, working as the secretary, or accompanying services as the organist
* Building houses for families in need
* Cleaning parks and highways
* Educating on health and safety
What other ways do you see volunteers serving faithfully around you? There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities around, and you may not even realize that some of the people you interact with daily are volunteers – 62.6 million Americans volunteered in their communities in 2013!
Now take a minute to imagine a day when no volunteers show up….
It’s a scary thought! We NEED volunteers, but the truth is, the number of volunteers has been declining over recent years. What challenges would you face if volunteers were not giving their time freely to benefit the lives of others? You may not realize it, but the impact of volunteers on our nation is pretty huge. The Corporation for National & Community Service stated that in 2013, volunteers gave almost 7.7 billion hours of service to their communities, which they estimated to be worth about 173 billion dollars!
* Provide physical and social activity
* Offer educational and professional experience
* Reduce stress
* Provide a sense of purpose
* Strengthen your community
* Increase your problem-solving skills
* Improve physical and mental health
* In adults age 70 and over, you may experience lower rates of mortality, lower decline in functional ability and lower rates of depression
Volunteers are needed in almost every non-profit organization, and New Beginnings has been blessed by having faithful volunteers as part of our staff. We encourage you to get involved in your community by
volunteering your time to a cause you believe in and support. If that leads you to volunteering at New Beginnings- great! We would love to have you. But we also believe that there are several other places that need volunteers, and we would love to see you become involved at a place that suits your talents and interests.
Click here for some tips to help you start volunteering.
If you are interested in donating your time to New Beginnings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (414)376-0595.
Beth Shiels is the Assistant Home Manager at New Beginnings. She has been married to her husband, Zach, for seven years and they have three charismatic daughters, with a fourth baby arriving in December. Beth splits her time between staying at home with her children, working at New Beginnings, and assisting in Zach's chiropractic clinic. She loves this crazy busy life God has blessed her with and is thankful to have the opportunity to share His love with the moms and babies at New Beginnings.
A Resident's Perspective
Life At New Beginnings