Thursday, March 28, 2013

A New Idea

The thought was... what if I volunteer some of my time doing genealogical research for nursing home residents?

It's an idea I've been kicking around my head for at least a year now, and I'm just now acting on it. I'll admit that I haven't done a lot of volunteer work before. Sure, I donate blood fairly regularly, and we've helped out with a few things at our church, but nothing I could really call my own. I would read the weekly church bulletin to see if there were opportunities to serve that sounded like me, and I didn't really feel called to any of them. But there was this inkling that perhaps it was time to start my own outreach program...

I've been involved off-and-on with genealogy research since about 2006 and I've been interested in puzzles for as long as I can remember. As an introvert, I find it difficult to start new conversations with people, but I still felt compelled to do something, to spread the love of Christ to others. Genealogy would provide the perfect balance: Most of the volunteer time would be when I could fit it in at home. When meeting with a resident, I could have them do more of the talking, or at least I would have subject matter to talk to them about. Doing the research itself is rewarding, but showing the findings to someone could have a real impact in their lives.

And thus, the idea was born. But would I be able to put this into practice? How would the nursing home faculty feel about residents divulging personal information about themselves and their families to further the research? My next step is to contact a nursing home to see what they think...

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