Two, four & six
"Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man."
Today I met with the volunteer coordinator for the St. Charles Crisis Nursery. Walking into the two story 100 year old building I saw three children ages (approx) two, four & six. They were playing on the worn and dated (most likely donated) playground equipment outside with some of the other volunteers.
For those of you who don't know what the Crisis Nursery is, it is a non-for profit organization that takes children in when there is a crisis in the family. Their main cause is to prevent child abuse. I sit down with the coordinator for my "orientation". This includes giving her my social security card for a background screening and going over the rules of the nursery. She states that there are many reasons that children come into the center. Some situations may include a family member in jail, stressed out parents (to the point of wanting to harm their own child(ren), homelessness, and many other things that I am grateful I have never had to go through. She explains that the nursery provides short term care (1-2 days) with three meals a day, fresh clothes, a bed, a bath, and a visit/physical with a nurse practitioner.
Most importantly she emphasized my role as a volunteer. I am to spend one-on-one time with the children and make the nursery a "positive" environment for them. I can only hope that I am able to give them enough of a positive environment to, even if it's only for a few hours, forget why they are there. I have worked with children for the better part of my teen years, but my fear is that I will not be able to handle the hardships these little ones are going through. My fear is that I will become too emotionally invested. Is this a bad thing? Am I going to be so emotionally moved by their situations that I begin to care too much? Can you ever care too much? I'm not sure about any of this yet. All I do know is that while I'm sitting here waiting for the laundry and finishing up this blog post, all I can think about is those three children that I saw at the nursery today. Where are they from, why are they there, but more importantly, what can I possibly do for them?