Brentwood North Nursing & Rehab Center. Riverwoods, IL

A volunteering story by: Alan

During Jakes’ time volunteering at Brentwood there was a vast array of activities that can be done that really makes time fly. From the staff members to the elders that give off an atmosphere of comfortability and positive moods Brentwood was more than just giving back to the community that gave Jake a more positive outlook. He spent most of his time keeping the elderly company by doing fun activities that everyone can enjoy. From telling stories, reading books, coloring, playing all kinds of games while taking a few moments in between to feed the birds. Its very simple to volunteer at Brentwood because all you need is a smile and if you cant find one within the first few moments of walking in your sure to get one. He assisted the elderly with the activities and games that they were able to play. Its difficult for someone of old age to do the daily activities that we truly love. The purpose is to assist when assistance is needed and to socialize so there doesn’t need to be a struggle to complete daily activities. When games get played you get the opportunity to become somewhat of a coordinator which is very up lifting. The elders really appreciate the time that volunteers give so they don’t have to experience the stress and the tiring physical exertion that old age may give. While spending time with the elderly it becomes almost enlightening and educational experience. Most of the elders have lived a long and prosperous life going through obstacles that we have not endured. Volunteering at Brentwood seems to show how useful a conversation can be from laughter of jokes that can make your day and useful tips from the wise.

The Inspiration

There seems to be a majority of people in this world that would like to be given a way they can help others in need. Although there are many people who would like to help it doesn’t seem that they find a way to do so by themselves. Thats when the push is needed to be inspired thats given from either friends, family, peers, or the people of your community. The inspiration for Jake came from his peers at school that shared moments and stories from positive experiences being a volunteer. Hearing how great volunteering is for others and gaining information on how to start and how to apply your skills in a manner that helps the most Jake noticed that the most important requirement is putting in effort. It doesn’t matter if your big or small but what matters is to take the initiative and to sign up at any local organization where theres always a need of a helping hand. Time comes when you tell yourself “its time to give it a shot” and make it happen by making a call to an organization saying that you’d like to help and when can I start. Jake choice to volunteer at Brentwood was from a peers persuasive recommendation that explained activities that you can do with the elderly and how quickly you notice the impact that you are making. Jake was able to realize at a young age how much he enjoyed helping others and to put that thought into reality. The help and inspiration given from his peer by seeing how volunteering affected him in a positive manner gave Jake the push needed to make the first step into a rewarding future for himself and all others he meets along the way.

The Aha! moment…

While spending time with the elders and given the opportunity to assist such amazing people you start to cherish every moment of every day and appreciate things that you weren’t able to see before. Jakes learning experience started before he actually volunteered. The act in which the decision to make the first step to volunteer happen taught him that when he’d like to get something done to not wait till the last minute but to take the initiative and be as productive as possible. The experience from Brentwood showed him that it is not always about the large aspects of life or the material things that we spend too much time and energy on, but instead the importance is to take a moment to notice the small things that many people tend to miss because there focus is to much on the big picture. If one day people can notice the importance of the small things and the things that aren’t tangible then the life that people live may open the door to happiness and a more prosperous lifestyle. Volunteering gives off a feeling where you are living in the moment by making an impact on another’s life. How something that seems so small like putting a smile on someones face can make the biggest difference.

To summarize it in three words…

eye-opening, enjoyable, heartwarming

Why should you do this

Yes he absolutely recommends everyone to volunteer at least once in there life just to experience it first hand. Only positive things come about volunteering which makes us all better people which can lead to a better society as a whole. A common misconception that most people seem to think about volunteering is that it takes a lot of time to do. Before Jake got his inspiration to volunteer he also thought that there was a long and time consuming process involved to volunteer. This became the reason why it took till his late teen years make it happen. He wishes there could have been some way where there could be accessible in depth information on how quick and easy it is to get involved when he was younger. He also recommends to volunteer its a direct route to benefit others in need around the world and in your very own community. The is also the ability to benefit yourself that lets you achieve a more positive outlook in life and to become aware that every person on this planet counts and can make a difference.

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