It wasn’t long after I moved to the DC Metro area that I started looking for volunteer opportunities. There were several reasons for this: I had few friends and thought it would be a good place to meet people, and it looks good on a resume – no denying that; but the main reason that I chose to volunteer, and the main reason that I chose Hyacinth’s Place was pretty simple.
My life has been quite fortunate. One of the most difficult choices I’ve ever made was which college to give my parents’ money to. I grew up with a culture of hard work and responsibility but never wondering where the next meal was coming from, even what I would be doing in a few years. I had a support system that did not allow failure and was given every opportunity that I needed to succeed. The fridge was always full, the bills were always paid, the beach house was always available, and even my first years living abroad I was bailed out of credit card debt on a no-interest mommy loan which is undoubtedly why I now have a fantastic credit score. Parents know their children aren’t perfect, and they know we’ll mess up, so mostly they are there for us. I appreciate and acknowledge every push, nudge, scolding, and cajoling that has gotten me here today.
The women that come through Hyacinth’s Place are not so lucky as to be born to parents like mine. Some have had life-long struggles, some are without the support to manage the later life ones that arise. I felt a need to lend my support system to these women to offer them a second chance. Simply being placed or finding yourself in a situation is not reason to fail if you have the drive and support to overcome it. Mental health issues are something that America is blatantly turning a blind eye to, sicknesses that are being ignored and diseases untreated. I believe that with the proper support system these women can find their inner success child, from a time when anything was possible, and again be independent in their lives.
That is why I chose to volunteer at Hyacinth’s Place. Every day I wake up aware that I have much more than I need to live a fulfilled life and I want to give to others so they have the same chance.