What propels Let Them LOL forward; what keeps us in motion? The truth is, it’s people like you – people who show up and give their time, talents, and treasure – who are the heartbeat of what we do. All it takes is showing up with a willingness to try!
Take Ruth and her husband Tim, for example. When our Volunteer Center opened in Clarence they felt the facts were too staggering to ignore; they were dumbfounded that less than 50% of children in Sierra Leone have access to education, let alone how 1 in 5 don’t live past their 5th birthday. They decided regardless of how ‘much’ or ‘little’ it seemed they had to offer, they needed to do something. So they started showing up. Literally. They came to our open house event, and they just kept coming.
We needed a lot of help maintaining the cleanliness and upkeep of the property – a unique and crucial task for a grassroots organization with only two full time US staff – so they jumped right in. This means taking on anything from doing the dishes, to mowing the lawn, to mopping floors on a weekly basis. Though it may sound like a lot of small things, it adds up to an unbelievable gift to LOL. Their willingness to take on these potentially less-than-exciting tasks takes a huge load off the staff and fills a major gap. Plus, it’s a unique way for the couple to serve together and get behind a cause they care about in a tangible way.
We love that longer they’ve spent here, the more involved and comfortable they’ve gotten, forming lasting friendships. Now, on a typical Thursday night, Ruth and Tim will probably be your first “Hello!” Ruth shares how even though she would say she’s shy, this community really has grown to feel like a place they belong. Volunteer relationships are so exciting to us as it is part of the gift embodied so well by the people of Sierra Leone: in actively practicing generosity toward our neighbor, side by side, we remember and reaffirm the greater value of community – near and far.
Ruth and Tim do far more than what we’ve got time to mention here. We can’t convince them to slow down! They have a huge heart for the people of Sierra Leone and they don’t take no for an answer when they have something to offer. The coolest part? Ruth shares how for every bit they give, they feel they are actually receiving something deeper,
“There’s a peace about this place, you know? I mean, it sounds a little weird maybe but it’s true! Even some Thursdays when we’re feeling tired beforehand, it’s always so good to get here and get busy, like a relief. We get so much out of being here and seeing everyone.”
We believe there is more to this place and these people than is easily understood or manufactured: Ruth and Tim decided to get involved and have found themselves excited by the joy of the giving itself, and the community they’ve found in the midst of it.
All of this is why we cannot exist without people like Ruth and Tim, and so many more. Everyday people like you sharing your time and enthusiasm, are the heartbeat of Let Them LOL: a community here with a community there. Incase you were on the fence about showing up, we are excited to let you know this is a place where you’re invited and wanted! So… see you Thursday?