We are so impressed by how many of our au pairs donate their time and talents to community service work. This week’s spotlight is on Alicia Hammond. Alicia is an au pair from Jamaica who lived with her host family in Washington, D.C. and a State Winner for the 2016 Au Pair Community Service Awards. She shared the following about her volunteer work with Martha’s Table serving food to community members in need.
Volunteerism can be viewed as a recognition of a need, with an attitude of social responsibility and without concern for monetary profit while looking beyond one’s basic obligations. It allows you to utilize your time, effort, technical, human and conceptual skills to contribute to a worthy cause. What does volunteerism mean to me? There are no words to describe what volunteerism means to me, but it broadens my perspective on life and its embellishments.
Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose and self-fulfillment and also signifies willingness which gives someone else a sense of hope by me conveying a service. This service may improve their lives; whether it be tangibly or intangibly. Volunteerism gives me a chance to see how my core capabilities enhance another individual’s life. It also allows me to be more humble and tolerant of this punitive world.
On Saturday December 12, 2015, I embarked on a remarkable journey that gave me a new perspective on life. This journey led me to learn new things and taught me to be more open minded about the world and the individuals in it. Surprisingly I was scared and nervous when driving to Martha’s Table because I did not know what to expect. I thought about the reaction of the other volunteers and even wondered about the type of people I would be helping.
Nevertheless I was determined to contribute my time to this organization. However, as I entered the building, the wave of anxiety hit me and I felt a dose of reality. As I gazed around I saw a team of efficient and effective volunteers working in one accord to provide meals for the homeless. I was marveled by this organization and the initiative itself so it took me a minute to get over this astonishment.
Furthermore, my activities entailed serving dinner which was rice with meatballs, two peanut butter sandwiches, two fruits and two ham with cheese sandwiches. As I served the meals with other volunteers and hearing the stories of some of these individuals, it took my all not to break down and cry. However, I couldn’t help but cry when I heard of a volunteer’s story; her son had died eight months before and he had gave his all to Martha’s Table by devoting his time and money to the initiative. As she told her story she broke down so I shared my own experience of losing a child; and hugged her then reminded her that life has its reasons though they may be slow to comprehend. This was a woman who gave up all her riches and glamorous lifestyle because she felt it was nothing without her son. This allowed me to become selfless for a minute and think about my journey over the years which led me to this beautiful moment in time. Therefore, I believe this experience at Martha’s Table thought me to appreciate life and family more. It also taught me to be more grateful and that I need to be a part of more initiatives like this.
Thus, on March 5, 2016 I embarked on another significant journey with a team of strong women (high school friends/nurses) who came together to give back to a community located in Jamaica that was in dire need of help. The initiative is called Each One Teach One…. An Act of Kindness; formed by a group of high school friends, it has now transformed into a formal organization.
Contact us to view profiles of au pairs like Alicia and to learn how Au Pair in America can be a rewarding cultural experience and child care solution for your entire family.