— Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015
Vortex (noun): An irresistible force; a whirling mass in which a force of suction operates.
This is how one Friends of Cozumel supporter described the upcoming experience to a group of about 15 local and visiting volunteers gathered for dinner at April’s house to review the project options listed on the white board:
“Here we go. Now we’re in the volunteer vortex.”
The planning for the winter mission activities has been in the works for projects ranging from mentoring students to getting seriously dirty.
“Our focus has always been on children and families,” said Karen Pedersen of the FOC leadership team. “Even if we’re cleaning up the horse therapy ranch for example, in the end they serve children and families.”
In the next two weeks, Friends of Cozumel volunteers will take on sewing and gardening workshops to help families make the most of their limited resources. They’ll help students explore the option of higher education after high school, tutor those trying to learn English, and use donated equipment to teach others how to snorkel. They’ll also provide baby supplies to a family in need, distribute reading glasses, staff a yard sale type Gran Bazar and work with church members on several maintenance and improvement projects.
“We don’t want to just swoop in and fix things,” said Larry Pedersen of the leadership team. “We want to teach people how to do these things for themselves. Then someday those people can come back and help others—talk about their experiences and pass on their knowledge.”
This morning was spent in preparation for projects that promise to be fairly complex with lots of supplies to gather. But the team sucked in by the afternoon’s irresistible force had simple instructions for their work at the horse ranch: wear closed toe shoes and bring a machete.
Things are bound to get interesting in the volunteer vortex. Send us your comments and stay tuned for updates. — Phyllis from Nebraska