See that chubby guy in the picture above…that’s me! 🙂
My name is Shaun (you may call me…The Shaun but that’s another blog for another time). I have been a One Brick volunteer for the 4+ years and an Event Coordinator for just about 2 years….loving every minute of it too!
During One Brick events we usually trying to learn a little more about each other and the question is always asked… “What brought you to One Brick?” The answers vary from “new to town and I’m looking to meet new people” to “I really enjoy the relaxed nature of the activites”. I am, hopefully at this time, going to give you a reason you have not heard to that question. Yet an answer that to “Why I volunteer with One Brick” that will help you fully understand why One Brick and its volunteers (like you) are so important!
I, Shaun, volunteer…as my own way of saying THANK YOU!
Your confused look is expected so I will expand on this reasoning a bit.
My mom and I spend most of my childhood homeless, living from shelter to shelter, soup kitchen to soup kitchen…luckily to find either…on some nights finding neither. We slept wherever we can and accepting from whomever would give to us. It was very common for me to change school often as we moved to another shelter in a different part of the city.
Mostly during this time, I experienced any form of friendship, love and care I had in my life…from complete strangers. My mom and I did have family to help us from time to time but there were sometimes limits to how far they could extend themselves. Yet to fill those gaps were a series of nameless and often faceless heores who gave whatever they had so I could have anything at all.
Nameless heroes who gave me the clothes from their children so I may have something to wear.
Nameless heroes who gave their time to prepare meals at soup kitchens so my mom and I could eat.
Nameless heroes that donated tickets toshows, plays and sporting events so a young boy may experiences such joys.
Nameless heroes who bought extra school supplies so I may go to school prepared.
Nameless heroes who gave a young man and his mother hope, love and care even though they often didn’t even know our name.
Nameless heroes who fulfilled the Christmas wish of a child they’ve never met…and probalby never will.
These nameless heroes is many senses made me the man I am today. Unfortuntely, I have no way of directly thanking these “nameless heroes” of my life but I relaized at a young age…that I had every thing it took to become one. Ever since…I’ve made a promise and dedicated a portion of my life…to being a nameless hero…that promise I brought me to One Brick.
I volunteered at the Inspiration Cafe because once young men and women to make me soup and meat loaf to eat.
I volunteered at the “Light Up The Night” events because someone comforted my mom when she was domestically abused.
I volunteered at the Greater Chicagoland Food Depository because that food once came to my house through the FoodShare program.
I volunteered at the Night Ministry because I once was one of those children in the streets of Uptown who anxious waited on their van.
I volunteered to support Meal on Wheels because my mother received their meals nightly in the years prior to her passing from AIDS.
Those who have volunteered with me, have caught me from time to time not wearing my OneBrick nametag. I must admit that this is not by accident. I learned at an early age one of my “nameless heroes” that it sometimes is not important if someone remembers who you are…what what you’ve done for them and how you’re affected their lives.
Every One Brick event I volunteer for or coordinate is just another way I get to say THANK YOU to those who did the same for me as a child. At every event, I can carry a simple thought that maybe through giving my time another person will be inspired to become a NAMELESS HERO.
This is why I volunteer.