Karen and I have sometimes wondered how it is we have been active volunteers for 35+ years. Looking back, a few key themes seem to explain our inability to stop. First, volunteering brought us together with other like-minded souls who have over the years become a cadre of lifelong friends. Second, volunteering gave us something that both of us were involved in; it was like charting but more so – it’s our project, not mine, not hers. Third, volunteering kept us exposed to and interacting with engaged couples. This has served to constantly remind us of the joy of being together, especially when life as a married couple was crazy. I honestly think as CCL teachers we have been helped more by our students than we have ever helped them.
Many will think they can’t imagine fitting one more thing into their schedules. Karen and I often felt like we were too busy to continue volunteering. But when we talked about it both of us felt if we stopped, we would be missing something (see reasons above). I encourage all of you current volunteers to keep it up – it’s good for you and your marriage! For those not yet volunteering, jump in and get started! It can be something small; the main thing is to get started.
Written by Mike Manhart, CCL Board Chair. Originally published in Family Foundations