As a stay at home mom of 3 boys, I began volunteering once the boys were in school.
I enjoyed a mix of different volunteering opportunities. I loved volunteering at their schools, in their cafeterias, and in their classrooms for parties, holidays, staff appreciation, etc. As they grew, so did my experiences.
I began to branch out to other organizations in the area that needed help on a weekly basis. Two of the most rewarding were Our Daily Bread and Be Concerned. Both are non profits that source food and other resources to community members that need assistance. Not only was it amazing to see the all the gratitude from the guests we served, it was eye opening to see the number of people in need. It was far beyond my expectations.
In 2013 we discovered that our youngest son had a learning difference and needed more help than his school was able to provide.
My husband and I knew that he was going to be a different learner and that led to many discussions about trying to set him up for success, as he was only 5. Will has dyslexia and ADHD.
Through the help of a very special friend who had lost a child with dyslexia, support from Will’s current school, enrollment in Springer’s Adventures in Learning Program, and many, many prayers, we found Springer.
It was not what we wanted. We wanted Will in his school with his brothers and friends, two miles up the road, and to fit in that square box that schools are set up to cater to, which are perfect for most kids! However, since that was not possible we met with Springer’s admissions director and asked “What is the smallest amount of time Will can spend here so we can get him out of this place and back to his normal school?”
Looking back on that day, I had no idea what was in store for all of us!
Springer changed every one of my family members’ lives…including my parents and sister. I laugh to myself some days when I think about that conversation I had with admissions.
Once Will started at Springer, so did I. I wanted to know everything about this place. I did what I could and helped as much as possible. I volunteered at Order Out Day and I volunteered with other moms from Springer just trying to break into the community. Then I was told about the yearly fundraiser called A Springer Celebration, and this is where I found Kirstin Eismin! The End!!
Will started Springer in 2nd grade and transitioned in 7th. That was two years ago but I’m still here. This is the point in my life where I can say I found that true spark that I am not sure all people find.
There is something to be said about volunteering at an organization where it doesn’t feel like work, it doesn’t get in the way, and you are excited to be there, you love all the people, and you will champion its mission because you believe in it so much.
I feel like I owe this school so much more than I can give because all our lives changed for the better.
Will has grown to be an amazing young man that uses every single strategy and tool he learned at Springer to be a successful high school student at Covington Catholic. Most days I would say he inspires me because he has had to fight to find his confidence and has won.
I hope to remain a volunteer at Springer as long as possible because I believe every child deserves this chance.
My advice for anyone looking to find a volunteer opportunity would be find something you love and go for it! Put yourself out there because there are so many organizations that may need help, even if it doesn’t seem so from first glance. I am glad I found my place at Springer.
Blogger Jenni Ward is the parent of a Springer alumnus and a Springer volunteer. Thank you Jenni for sharing your experience!