It’s Time to Stir Up Our ‘Want-to’ When It Comes to Volunteering

Columnist Cazandra Campos-MacDonald says we need to get engaged again

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by Cazandra Campos-MacDonald |

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The pandemic changed the world. From working in an office to working remotely, staying connected through technology, and shopping for necessities online, the world managed to keep moving. I’m grateful for the conveniences and adaptations that are now the norm, but I find there’s still an area where many are struggling.

My youngest son, Caeleb, has hemophilia and is a junior in high school. Virtual learning was difficult. His social interactions were drastically limited for a young man who thrived on being with people. Now that school is back in the classroom, however, his attitude and thirst for learning are improving. Kids are resilient to a fault and always find a way to make things work.

But I believe the parents are still struggling.

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With regular events and meetings occurring virtually, the world became used to a new way of operating that relieved the pressure on parents regarding volunteerism. There were no volleyball games or band concerts to attend or times to provide snacks in the classroom. These opportunities were gone.

For example, the band booster club at Caeleb’s school struggles to find enough parents to step up and participate. Everyone seems to have gotten used to watching on the sidelines and not being active participants.

I recently saw this phenomenon unfold at a recent local bleeding disorder chapter meeting. My husband and I attended a unique offering, a manufacturer presentation at a ballroom dance studio. We were surprised at the low attendance. After dinner, the presentations were given, and then the participants took part in a group dance class.

It was fun; however, our hearts were dismayed. The once-thriving chapter seems to have fallen off the map regarding participation and enthusiasm. It feels disconnected.

I believe the struggles of the pandemic are a large part of why our local community has regressed. Our “want-to” has diminished. My husband and I are guilty, too, as we haven’t been very involved due to job demands and distance from the city. Our local community has a history of fun and excitement, and this event ignited our passion for participating in the chapter with renewed purpose.

Volunteering means time away from our jobs and our family’s regular demands and expectations. In a world that became accustomed to quarantine and less responsibility, finding our way back to what’s essential is not easy. It’s about commitment.

The local chapter is a resource, a support system, and a family that I’ve depended on for years. From when my sons struggled to the times when they thrived, the chapter never turned its back on my family’s needs.

It’s time to step up. No longer will I allow the community to be out of sight and out of mind. It’s time to put my energy into the organization that helped me through the darkest times.

I encourage everyone to reevaluate how they volunteer. Being reminded of what’s important is key to unearthing passion. So how will you step up?

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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