From Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul

Volunteer’s Lament

As a stay-at-home mother and devoted wife,

I’ve volunteered my entire adult life.

A Sunday school teacher and Girl Scout leader,

Library worker and story-time reader.

Involved in every organization around,

Kept me running all over town.

Secretary, treasurer and sometimes chair,

Often it seemed I served everywhere.

I scheduled fund-raisers, baked cakes and pies,

Planned school picnics, then prayed for blue skies.

In a desperate pinch, a substitute teacher,

And at every ball game, I cheered from a bleacher.

I carpooled the kids of working mothers,

Served snacks to countless sisters and brothers.

When a teacher said, “Whose mother can?”

Up in the air went my daughter’s hand.

In fifteen years of public school,

“My-mom-will-do-it” became the rule.

Now my daughters are away and grown,

With work and schedules of their own.

Yet even today I hear the call,

And volunteer to help one and all.

Someday, I’ll leave this mortal Earth,

To stand and be counted, for what it’s worth.

And when St. Peter looks my way,

I think I know just what he’ll say.

“To give out the harps and halos here,

I’ll need a willing . . . VOLUNTEER!”

Mary Drew Adams

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