“I had a dream the other night that every volunteer in this land had set sail for another country.” So begins Erma Bombeck’s piece, So Long, Volunteers, a poetic commentary on the critical role that volunteers play in our lives. She begins with relief that all those “yes people” go on their way, until she lists the things missing from society without the volunteers. In the end, she realizes, “I fought in my sleep to regain a glimpse of the ship of volunteers just one more time. It was to be my last glimpse of a decent civilization.”
Sally Anderson shared this poem with us. Sally has been volunteering for Day Nursery and now Early Learning Indiana for decades and wouldn’t have it any other way. Sally’s mother was one of the founding members of the Day Nursery Auxiliary in 1938. Back then, the Auxiliary volunteers were critical for operations as teachers in the classrooms. “Today’s kids are exposed to more, but back then the Auxiliary had the opportunity to really show these kids something totally new.” They went to the farm and to the zoo among other places. “These kids would see a sow for the first time and be amazed.”
Though they’re not the primary teachers in our classrooms, volunteers play an important part in Day Early Learning centers. Auxiliary members read to children in classrooms, help with events in the centers, and financially support scholarships to Day Early Learning families and LifeCubby, the centers’ online parent communication system.
Sally has made a huge impact on our children and in our centers.
“I get a sense of satisfaction that I’m giving back to a child what my mom gave to me. And I love kids. At that age, those kids love everything. Life is wonderful. And kids get an experience of love from everyone there – even the cook! As you get older and your children are grown, what better way to stay young than to work with kids? You know that you are important in a child’s life.”