Recently I was invited by Dr. Jimenez, the Executive Director of OCCTAC to attend a banquette called the ‘Spirit of Volunteerism’ held at the Disney Land Hotel to honor volunteers in the OC area. It was sponsored by the OC Register and the Volunteer Center of Orange County, organizations I often drive by on the way to OCCTAC on Fridays to teach the Santa Ana Suzuki Strings. I got to meet and have lunch at one of many tables with about 7 other volunteers at OCCTAC which Dr. Jimenez wanted to recognize that day. We were treated to entertainment by dancers from the OC High School of the Arts and a slide show of all of the 250 volunteers who were being honored that day.
The people being recognized had many different kinds of motivations and resources for their desire to volunteer. Many of them expressed an interest and value they already had in animals, culture or the environment. Some had gifts financial or spiritual and had time on their hands to go out into the community and work with other people. Some like Ms. Cynthia were blessed by a sense of gratitude for opportunities they received in life and felt driven by an obligation to make the world a better place for future generations.
I couldn’t help but wonder who supported these volunteers when they were out there burning the candle at both ends? Who was there waiting patiently in the wings for them to come home to do family things? Who believed in them and appreciated the value of the gift that they insisted on pursuing? Who was willing to share the indulgences that these generous volunteers had for the need to share with strangers in their community that they might not ever meet?
If they could all fit on the back of the certificate, there would be quite an extensive list of family, friends and students who put up with this Suzuki teacher and tolerated her audacious and outrageous vision that all of our children have access to the best possible education that music can provide. I appreciate both the financial and emotional support that all of you have provided over the years.