This past Friday was my 20th anniversary and the hubby and I celebrated by spending a long weekend tramping the streets of New Orleans. It was a great time and reminded me that Austin is not as humid as it could be! 😉
This meeting was a little extra special for me because it was my 11th anniversary as a Linus volunteer.
I didn’t make a thing of it while I was there, but I thought about it all day.
Eleven years ago, I remember walking into my first meeting with my heart pounding. Another mom, who was to become my good friend, invited me after she found out that I crocheted.
The first blanket I donated, November 2002.
We’d lived in Austin almost four years at the time and I still didn’t feel really connected. Believe it or not, I was shy and more than a bit introverted and I was so nervous to walk in that first day because I had no idea what to expect. I was welcomed with open arms, despite obviously being the youngest volunteer there.
By March the next year, I’d taken over the website. Six months after that, I was nominated to be a board member and had started learning to quilt. Linus became a very important part of my life, one that I could not now imagine living without. My longest local friendships all started at Linus meetings. Sucking up that courage to walk into that first meeting literally changed my life and I am a better person for it.
I’ve chronicled my years at Linus through photography. The following are Flickr albums for each year I’ve volunteered. Most of the years before 2010 are pictures of my blankets. Eventually, I invited the online community to contribute to my favorite charity and began sharing photos of the blankets and quilt blocks you all shared, too. I’ve lost count of how many blankets I’ve personally donated since those first few!
This is not by any stretch of imagination all the photos I’ve taken for Linus. With a few exceptions, every photo taken and posted on the Linus website since 2002 was taken by me!
Thank you for indulging me as I think back over my years with Linus. There aren’t enough words to explain how important this organization is to me. Being part of this extraordinary group of volunteers has given me more by far than I could have ever anticipated.
Do you volunteer? I’d love to hear about it in comments!