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. Within days of starting this project I had been able to establish contact with a not-too-distant cousin of a nursing home resident. I had actually found relatives living just an hour away she never knew she had. This organization is still in the infancy stages, but I feel like I have really found something impactful here, and I am trying to work out the best approaches to this service.
If you're curious about the man behind the blog, my name is Sean and I'm happily married to the love of my life, Katherine. Our 1-year-old son occupies most of our free time, but our lives have never been filled with so much laughter. We live in a small suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and are members of Grace Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Middleburg Heights. (www.gracecma.org)