I just finished volunteering on my first project for Up and At It, a non-profit focusing on job-readiness skills for people residing in transitional living communities, www.upandatit.org. The 3 day project includes self-esteem build up, resume’ writing skills, job interview role play, defining their success stories in life, business attire clothing, hair salon makeover and, on this occasion, an actual interview with personal from Wal Mart.
My main tasks were helping participants write their résumé’s and get it up loaded to Monster.com. With this blog post, it is not my goal to either ennoble the participants or myself. We all face challenges to one degree or another. A healthy community calls upon all of us to share our talents, skills and resources with our neighbors. It is the collective ‘floating of all the boats’ that makes our communities more sound and productive.
However, it was hard not to notice the significant change in the participant’s demeanor and attitude by the end of the 3rd day. They were beaming with self-confidence and hope that they had taken one more step towards self-sufficiency for themselves and their families. For me, the operative word is hope. None of the 13+ volunteers can promise any of the 20 participants that they will land a job tomorrow. We cannot guarantee that prosperity is right around the corner.
What we can and did provide was hope. Because the future is unpredictable, even the wealthiest among us must have hope that through their honest hard work they will be rewarded in the future. Without hope, it is hard to get ‘Up and At It’ each morning of each day.