Sometimes being a volunteer can be overwhelming. OK, not sometimes. There will come a time in every volunteer position, regardless of what organization you’re volunteering for, where you will become overwhelmed. Creating space and time to take care of yourself is key to staying on task and keeping focused on the big picture. I always remind myself that no matter how hard it is for me, imagine how tough this is for the kids. And I’m humbled. I stop, recalibrate and get back on track – but it’s not easy to do on my own. My CASA team helps remind me of my purpose as a volunteer.
My CASA team consists of six volunteers. We meet once a month to discuss our cases, get updates about CASA, and talk about things that are happening in our personal lives. This is a safe and confidential place for us to support each other.
A few weeks ago, my biggest challenge was making time to sit and have an important conversation with someone. I had been extremely busy at work and I was feeling stretched too thin. During our team meeting, other CASA volunteers expressed similar challenges, so we worked on a plan to break up our outreach into realistic goals. I was reminded of that quote about not being able to see the forest for the trees. The solution was obvious, but when you’re in the middle of trying to sort something out, it can be hard to see. It’s especially difficult when you’re thinking about the fact that your decisions could directly impact the life of someone else forever! That’s a lot of pressure.
My CASA team meetings are kind of like a hot air balloon ride. They help give us a view of our case from a distance, under the wing of a seasoned CASA volunteer who can ask us questions from a variety of points of view. This helped me see the entire forest and not just the park where my CASA kids play.