This month I’ll be sharing lots about our amazing volunteers among other things! In many ways, volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization and without them I am not sure we would exist – at least not in the way we do now. Volunteering takes on a variety of forms but ultimately it is the generosity of someone’s time, talent, or treasure that constitutes the title of “volunteer”.
I chose the fun title of Chicken and Champion Volunteers for this article because sometimes we are a little of both, chicken and champion, without even really understanding why. This connects to how our kiddos often feel….a little chicken and a little champion. Like our volunteers, our kiddos are gifted, skilled, and completely incredible but also nervous about stepping out of their comfort zone. This past weekend, I had the privilege of staging some photos with a volunteer who also happens to be a graduate of our program and I was honored to be surrounded by such creative energy and youthfulness.
I was reminded that no matter how old we get, it is important to stay young at heart, give time to things that are important and bigger than yourself, and to surround yourself with those who will chase the chicken out of you so you can be the champion you’re meant to be. I have always believed that we become like those we choose to surround ourselves with. If we want to be kind, optimistic, and successful, we must be around and mentor with others who demonstrate those characteristics.
The kiddos we serve exhibit those very characteristics. Not all of their strengths show up while they are in school and learning to be their own champion but when given the time and opportunity, they excel in demonstrating exactly the characteristics we hope to emulate. Kiddos who exhibit many of the characteristics of dyslexia are talented in ways most people take for granted such as reading body language, demonstrating compassion and empathy toward others, and sheer persistence and determination. They are often strong in qualities that can be difficult to teach but because it is part of their make-up, they exhibit these things with seemingly great ease. These characteristics are where they excel as champions.
Too often our inner chicken takes over and disables the champion within but with support and encouragement a champion grows into a warrior! It’s ok to be a little chicken at times for that is part of what keeps us safe. It’s better to be a champion more of the time for that is how change is made and growth is achieved. It is best to be a warrior all of the time, even when we are scared for the warrior continues to carry the mission forward regardless of personal indecision.
We are giving our community the opportunity to be a different kind of chicken or champion on May 11th. Champions can sign up now to be a part of the Read, Write, & Rappel event but chickens can also participate at the ground party and by supporting the champions who rappel over the edge for dyslexia. Regardless of how you choose to participate, be sure to be a warrior!!!