April Jeppson: Volunteers saved the day for big luncheon

Published 8:45 pm Friday, December 9, 2022

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

The last of our lunch guests just left the building. The area that was previously filled with laughter and conversation, is now oddly quiet. Just the sound of the dishwasher running the final load of the day.

April Jeppson

To say that I was nervous about today is an understatement. The meteorologists were predicting between 2 to 8 inches of snow. Children were talking about how their teachers had sent them home prepared to not return the next day because of the storm. Most of my employees live out of town, and if the weather is bad, I’m the backup. Normally I’m OK with that, but today we had a Christmas party to prepare for.

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I knew that the bulk of the storm was happening overnight. I also knew that our luncheon wasn’t until — well, lunchtime. The meal was already being prepared so if we pushed the party back a week, the food would no longer be fresh by then. I couldn’t reschedule, and I didn’t feel right about canceling it all together. My gut told me that there would be some people who’d be able to attend, and I figured worse case, they’d all just end up with a few meals to take home as well. 

The snow came as they predicted, and then it stopped as they said it would. I found myself shoveling and bringing in all the decorations by myself. I knew that some volunteers would be showing up soon, but with the weather the way that it was, I wasn’t sure exactly how many would be able to help. I just kept trucking along until the first few people showed up. 

They helped me roll out extra tables and chairs. When we started decorating, a few more volunteers came and asked what they could do. By the time the caterer came, one of my new best friends was guiding and showing him where to put everything. It was nice having all this help. 

I tried not to stress over my lack of staff because I believe that everything always works out just the way it’s supposed to. Or perhaps I was too distracted with all the other things going on to really think about the fact that it would be just me working at the Christmas party. 

I was the only employee there, but I was far from alone. 

In total we had 10 volunteers, and I am thankful for every single one of them. I could not have done this without them. I mean, I could have and I would have, but it would not have been enjoyable for me or anyone who was watching. 

Everyone who helped said things like, “Oh don’t worry about it” or “I wasn’t doing anything anyway.” They spent three hours of their day working beside me and smiling while they did it. Their generosity not only benefited me, but the almost 70 people that were served lunch today.

The coolest thing about this is that this situation is not an isolated incident. I am constantly surrounded by those who are willing to give of their time and their talents. My heart is full of gratitude for the wonderful volunteers we have at the Senior Center each and every day. Thank you!

“God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom.” — Spencer W Kimball

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.