A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way – by Sue Jurjevic

five children play on playground equipment in front of the community center

five children play on playground equipment in front of the community centerEarlier this year, I shared with you about the opportunity we had to honor our volunteers at our annual Volunteer Banquet. We enjoyed the evening reflecting back and thanked all of them for their effort and time shared with community.

I’ve just returned from a trip to Jamaica where I had the opportunity to serve in an orphanage for four days. This orphanage is home to one hundred children with disabilities. We helped take care of children, helped them with daily tasks, and played with them. We also helped the house moms with laundry and cooking for all the children.

I have volunteered over the years in various ways, but this time was a little different for me. Helping others is what I love to do. However, to go to unfamiliar area, unsure of what to expect upon arrival and knowing there would be children in need of specific care felt overwhelming.

Looking back at the trip and all that we did there brings many thoughts to mind. One of them is how I got there. If we are going to be real with ourselves, even the most confident person has had times in their lives where they are hesitant to try something new. I want to encourage you to take small steps each day to step out of your comfort zone. Try something new, or something you have always wanted to try!

In Jamaica, I was surrounded by people who encouraged, supported, and reminded me that life’s possibilities are endless. It’s always a pleasure to see the connections here at the Community Center, such as when someone takes a new class because a friend invited them. Be that encouragement to others and yourself! Be on the lookout for our new fall MOSAIC coming out this month. There is something for everyone!

Sue Jurjevic is the Senior Recreation Specialist for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at s.jurjevic@manassasparkva.gov.

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