Writing a blog can be difficult and very frustrating. Week after week I sit in front of this computer making an effort to put volunteer experiences into words. Some weeks, the words flow like a beautiful fountain. Other weeks, I sit and stare at the computer, struggling to put my feelings and emotions onto paper. I type and delete, type and delete, sigh, curse, type and delete. You get the picture. Some weeks I absolutely suck at being a blogger. Why? Why is it so difficult to write this blog? The answer is simple. I want to properly convey my emotions, share my feelings, and write eloquently about the great organizations that we serve. I want others to find inspiration in our blog. I want others to take action. Unfortunately, I am not sure I accomplish that a lot of the time.
This week was one of those instances when I couldn’t find the words. After making several attempts and ending up with crap, I put the laptop away and went for a run. Over the last few months, I have become a runner (well, at least I try). I have found that my evening/late night runs have become an incubator for ideas and prime time for soul-searching and deep thought. Tonight’s run produced this blog post which is very fitting for this week’s volunteer experience with the Color Vibe 5K run.
Color Vibe describes itself as the most awesome 5K ever. It is not a typical 5K where runners race against the clock to beat their best times and win the competition. This fun run is about having a great time with friends and family. This run is about getting blasted with color. As volunteers, that is exactly what we did. The girls and I worked a color station and we doused the runners with vibrant color powder as they ran by. Erica worked the packet pick-up station in addition to the merchandise tent. There are three words to best describe this experience:
1. FUN- The Color Vibe event was a lot of fun. Where else can you throw colored power at complete strangers and get away with it. It is completely okay to make a mess, dance around like a fool, and make a lot of noise. As a volunteer, you usually do not get that luxury. Although the day was long (out of bed at 5am on a Saturday), we had a great time.
2. COLORFUL- Color was everywhere. Runners were covered from head-to-toe in a rainbow of color. Volunteers were too. One of the women working with us was blue all over. She actually looked like a Smurf without the funny hat. Her teeth glowed a bright white against her canvas of blue. The girls and I, too, were a Skittles bag of color. We had color in our hair, our ears, our mouths, and in places the sun doesn’t shine.
3. FULFILLING- Unlike most of our volunteer activities, this one didn’t deal with social injustices and life-critical community issues. It was fulfilling nonetheless. Our color station was located at the end which gave us the opportunity to welcome people across the finish line. In addition to the smoke of color, we offered congratulatory hoots, hollers and applause. It was great to see the looks on the faces of runners as they finished the race. We could see the sense of accomplishment in the eyes of many and joyous smiles on the faces of all. Volunteers play a huge role in the success of the Color Vibe. It sure seemed like every participant had a great time. I would say that all volunteers did as well.
Volunteer experiences take on all shapes and sizes. Our experience with the Color Vibe was evident of this. You can volunteer for nonprofit organizations, community causes, for-profit companies, or for events. It really doesn’t matter. In the end, you can positively impact others, have a great time, and have a colorful experience with the entire family.