Volunteers are the spirit of Change for Children
The classrooms of the new secondary schools recently constructed in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua served as true multi-purpose spaces when the Change for Children dental brigade team arrived to provide service to remote communities. Classroom spaces were transformed into operatories, dental hygiene stations, and even hammock housing for volunteers! Six communities along the Rio Coco, all accessed by dugout canoe, were reached in all, serving nearly 700 people.
Teamwork makes the dream work
And while it could not be more cliché to say so, it is indeed also true! From loading and unloading supply bins in and out of boats twice daily, to organizing and triaging patients in order to ensure that everyone is seen, to climbing muddy mountains, to tending to the infirm, to spreading joy in the now, this team of volunteers truly embodied the all-for-one attitude! They came together, stayed together, and worked together to achieve success, to alleviate pain, to treat infection, and to provide care not currently available. Over and over again.
Volunteering is one of those selfless acts that nevertheless, more often than not, sometimes completely unexpectedly, offers an abundant rate of return. Volunteers in the Bosawas gave of their time, skills, experience, and passion to help others. And, without expecting anything in return, many developed new skills, made meaningful connections, and perhaps also found a little piece of themselves while losing themselves in the service of others.
You never know what you’re going to get
The magic of volunteering is that although you know what you are bringing into it, you never really know what you’re going to get from it. But you will get something. And it just might be the something you least expected. It might be perspective, it might be a connection, it might be a feeling. It might come to you during a conversation with a parent, while relishing a view from a remote mountain top, while treating an infection that reveals a long-hidden smile, or in skipping rocks at the riverbank with children you have only just met. You just never know what you are going to get.
Volunteering creates value for all.