Our 2018-2019 Year Long Volunteers (YLVs) have officially concluded their service year, and tomorrow we will be welcoming six new YLVs into the Christ House family! Here’s our last reflection piece from the ’18-’19 group. We’re so grateful to our Year Longs for sharing their experiences and of course, for their many hours of service this past year.
Alyssa is from Richmond, Indiana, and will be getting married this month! She started out as a Respite Care Assistant and became a Registered Nurse mid-way through her service year. Alyssa will be staying at Christ House to work as a full-time nurse. We’re excited that she’s sticking around! Below, Alyssa reflects on the biggest takeaway and what she will carry forward from her Year Long Volunteer experience.
Healing through Laughter
By Alyssa Grimes
I have learned more than I ever expected from my experience as a year long volunteer. I struggle to find the words to sum up 365 days of all that I’ve seen and done while working on the second floor, having fellowship in the dining room, and bonding with the community that is Christ House. I came to Christ House with the hope that I would be able to use my nursing degree to help heal those who were sick and give love to those who needed it. I am blessed to have been welcomed into a place that embodies love and hope among a multitude of other things.
The work that takes place at Christ House is stressful and heavy, not only for the staff but also for the patients. Their illnesses, recoveries, and futures aren’t things to be taken lightly. Remember the love and hope I talked about before? Well, when you add love and hope and all the other Christ House goodness together, you get my biggest take away – laughter.
How ridiculous, you might think! I could talk about how I’m a better person and how I’ve grown in things like patience, which is true and essential to my experience, but that’s not what I’m going to share with you. The reality of what our patients deal with on a day-to-day basis while trying to get their health and life on track is challenging, to say the least. So, we find comical relief when and where we can! Giving them something to laugh about can help ease their mind even if it’s only for one minute. A saying that I’ve heard so many times is, “We laugh so we don’t cry!” And it’s true. But more often we laugh because of the joy and hope that begins to swell up inside the men on the second floor once they’ve been cared for in the ways that they need and deserve.
Moving forward, the stories of hardship that patients have shared will remain with me. But I will also carry the laughter and joy that has helped us all heal, one chuckle at a time.