Guest Post by Raymond Day
People at Capital Caring know me as “the ice cream sandwich man.” I drop off 40 of my homemade creations every other Saturday. Most of the time, I don’t see anyone. But on my most recent delivery, I ran into a woman who I guessed to be in her late 30’s or early 40’s. “Are you the guy who delivers the ice cream sandwiches? My daughter has been looking forward to them.”
We chit-chatted for a minute or two as I transferred things from my cooler to the freezer in the country kitchen and she picked one out for her daughter. I left with a smile on my face, thinking that she and her daughter had a treat when they came to visit a family member in the facility.
But as I was driving home, it hit me. What if she was there to visit her daughter? I hadn’t thought of that because most of the people I encounter there appear to be at least in their 50’s. Not the happiest of thoughts, but at least I can hold onto the idea that an ice cream sandwich might bring her some comfort.
Face it, we’re all going to go sometime. Sure, it’s not the most pleasant thought in the world, but it is the reality. Having said that, I want to make sure when it’s my time that I’m cared for. The best way I know to do that is to see that those who go before me are well looked after. I guess it’s my way of “paying it backward” (since “pay it forward” is passing along a kind gesture after you’ve received one).
That’s one of the reasons why I volunteer for Capital Caring. They’re a hospice company that operates in Northern Virginia, and they happen to have an inpatient center within walking distance of my home. That’s the second reason I volunteer there; it’s close to home. For those who aren’t familiar with hospice, you can find out more here: Palliative and supportive care.
Capital Caring turned me on to Reward Volunteers. Despite what it might sound like from above, I’m not normally one to self-promote. But when I saw what they were espousing, I had to start. Okay, who am I kidding, I did it for the prizes. I figured as long as they were giving stuff away, I might as well throw my name in the hat. And I’m so happy that I did. Not because I’ve won things through the program (I have), but because I’ve gotten to meet several of the people behind the program. They’re an amazing group who feel it’s important to work hard, have fun and to give back, three things that I think are key to making this a better world.
This April is National Volunteer Month. Why don’t you check out Reward Volunteers and make the world a better place, too?