Another season of volunteering at Assistance League is coming to a close (for me, anyway). I’ll take the summer to recharge and come back in August ready to serve our community’s children at Operation School Bell.
One of my last duties as the chair of my committee was to organize our annual membership luncheon. The theme of the lunch was inspired by the book Language of the Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. There are so many different purposes and personalities that make up Assistance League, I felt it appropriate to express the beauty of our diversity through the language of the flowers.
The flowers on the tables and in the flower arrangements were chosen for their meaning. Even the oranges and turnips in the arrangements were special; generosity and charity.
The room was filled with women and men who are devoted to serving our community through Assistance League. I compared them to the Hibiscus flower (it was in the iced tea) which means delicate beauty. They are all beautiful inside and out but that beauty is delicate. It’s delicate because our personalities are so beautiful yet easily bruised, like a flower they must be handled with care. These women and men come to Assistance League for various reasons. Whether it be to serve or to be social, to give back their time and talent to the community or feel valued by their peers. To gain new friendships or to network. All of these reasons are legitimate and probably all play a role in a person’s decision to volunteer. It’s not up to me, or anyone else, to judge why someone decides to join an organization like Assistance League. What is valuable and important is that they are here. There are here serving, utilizing their talents to make our community a better place and that’s what really matters.
This past year these beautiful women and men clothed over 1600 school age children in Norman. Collectively they worked 14,114 hours of volunteer time. They raised a boat load of money to keep these programs not just running but thriving. Programs that are serving the least of these and doing it with dignity. The recipients of the programs; school kids, battered women, elderly men and women, children in the foster care system; are just as delicate in beauty as the people who are serving them. They are just as easily bruised but are all part of the same beautiful bouquet. Individually they are all beautiful in their own way but put them all together and they are breathtaking.
I don’t know what brought them to Assistance League and I don’t really care. What I do care about is what they can teach me about humility, joy, suffering, serving, beauty. The list goes on and on and that’s a very delicate beauty.