One day I was on my company’s volunteer opportunity portal exploring opportunities to give back virtually and came across an opportunity I’ve been searching for at least a year. Coaching low income people on wellness. As I dug into this opportunity more, I filled out the volunteer application and received a call shortly thereafter from a woman named Joy.
Joy used to work in corporate wellness, like I do. As I learned about her, I found that she too felt a call to more deep inside, and so she went on to found a non-profit organization devoted to the wellness needs of low income people in her city. The organization also has a healthy food pantry which offers nutritious options.
Joy is a true servant leader and is doing everything I imagined myself doing at some point. Running a non-profit. Living her dream. Blood, sweat and tears for a mission she believed in. Feeding the hungry. Helping people live fuller lives to their potential and feel better inside and out.
Joy talked with me a few times to understand my gifts and talents, and wanted to use them in the best ways possible. She offered to mentor me, give me opportunities to engage in areas I was interested in as a volunteer, and truly emulated enthusiasm, passion and joy. I couldn’t help but get excited deep inside while I talked to her.
About a week later I got a t-shirt in the mail from Joy with the words: Empowering people in need to get healthy. I could feel my heart inflaming for this mission. I had met Joy. Literally and metaphorically.
Meeting Joy is changing my life. Not only is she a female leader who emulates so much of what I want for myself, but it's causing me to focus my service. It’s got me excited, impassioned, and feeling as though this is what I am called to as a volunteer right now and at some point, maybe more. As I volunteer for this organization, the ideas and excitement just flow, much like what I experience at work. It’s a beautiful thing. A gift. It takes all of my experiences, all of my gifts, all my volunteer learnings and just explodes them for the poor and a charitable purpose. I feel like I'm coming alive and that I've met my "match" of service.
That’s what I’ve always yearned for, and it came to me unexpectedly one day.
I think God knows that meeting Joy is more than just meeting a special person because as I reflect more about it, I find that it’s meeting my God-given disciple mission that is giving me Joy.