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Volunteers of the month May, 2018 who personify ‘Service before Self’

Some people inspire you by way of just being themselves. They radiate passion, purpose and presence in whatever they do. And when these values are combined with years of wisdom and the drive to give back to society, it makes an inspiring senior citizen volunteer!

We have the fortune to have two such accomplished seniors as our volunteers for the month of May, 2018. As friends who walked into our orientation meeting together two years ago, they made a profound impression on us on day one. They continue to humble us with their commitment and leave an indelible stamp of on each volunteering session. They both have served their careers in the Indian armed forces and now choose to serve our community with the same passion and zest.

Colonel Rajakumar and Group Captain Veeraraghavan are retired officials from the Indian armed forces and they have chosen CV as their preferred route to make a difference. They have been volunteering through CV at Seva Samajam and a few other NGO partners for the past two years. Two years during which they have been completely dedicated to the children at the school there and are determined to transform their lives.

Colonel Rajakumar is a retired army officer, 76 years young and he always is the spirit of our meetings. With his commanding voice and sprightly gait, he encourages the children to express themselves and speak up. He believes that everything good can be further improved and leads some very interesting discussions.

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Group Captain Veeraraghavan is a retired airforce officer, 74 years young and he teaches at a couple of other schools for less privileged children as well and we are fortunate to have him volunteer through us as well. He has devised his own teaching aids for other schools and is always willing to share his ideas with us. They are the first to arrive for a session and pretty much the last to leave.

Apart from teaching Spoken English and reading sessions, they enjoy teaching values, awareness sessions, basic tutoring, and are always completely engaged with every aspect of our engagement at this school. They have also tried some other volunteering activities and are always trying to think of how they can help further more. Not surprisingly, they rarely miss a class and it is a treat to see them engage with the young kids. It’s like having foster grandfathers with young hearts. They symbolise everything we would wish for in retired elders.

As people who have enjoyed life fully and are now experiencing a more meaningful way to engage, they bring with them the rich resources that volunteers need – experience, knowledge, patience and most importantly, time.

Chennai Volunteers considers itself fortunate to have them as part of our family and we look forward to many more volunteering moments with them.

Our two celebrated volunteers of the month have served their life living the adage, “service before self” and continue to do so, even now, with the same commitment and passion, for the same cause, their country.

IMG_20170808_111817 Continue reading “Volunteers of the month May, 2018 who personify ‘Service before Self’”

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Meet our volunteer for the new year, Jan 2018.. Ganesh.

The best things in life cannot be seen or touched.. they must be felt from the heart.

This is what made a shy and reticent young man become a believer in volunteerism. He felt and sensed his way through volunteering, initially testing waters, before he took the deep dive!

Ganesh is a young professional who chanced upon CV and decided to give it a shot. His first shot at volunteering was at a home for elders where he signed up to entertain them and somehow took charge of the show. He was applauded for his efforts and this appreciation, alongwith his own sense of fulfilment that he could spread cheer among needy elders, transformed him into a believer.

Today, one year since and counting, Ganesh has been a key volunteer at most of our volunteer events. He balances his work pressures and volunteering commitments with the same calm, quiet and balanced demeanour, as he does everything else in life. A quiet worker, Ganesh is extremely focused, and comes alive when he is with the beneficiaries. From environment-related causes to managing marathons, from scribing for the visually challenged to encouraging specially-abled children on their sports day, from managing the  registrations at a blood donation camp to spending days at the flood relief camp, Ganesh has done it all in his quiet manner. He personifies “putting the cause before self” and volunteers from his head and heart. It’s almost as if he is experiencing and trying out various aspects of volunteering to see how much he can push himself beyond his comfort zone. Well, all I can say is that he is doing well and going strong,

He also believes strongly that volunteering has transformed him and CV has given him a sense of belonging.  He is almost part of the CV team, is always ready to raise his hand and  has made several friends among volunteers. But more than this, the impact he sees in the eyes of the people he engages with, keeps him going and it’s a passion he has discovered.

In his own words. “The happiness and fulfilment you get when you help someone is something you must experience at least once in your life time and i feel elated to be a part of CV!”

Team CV is equally proud of having him as part of our team and we really look at him for support in the future as well. It is people like Ganesh that keep an civic initiative booming.

Thank you, Ganesh and here’s to many more fulfilling moments together.

 

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