Much of the work we do at Kairos Alive! wouldn’t be possible without a dedicated core group of “Kairosian” volunteers. Our friend and regular volunteer, Alison, shares some of her thoughts on her experiences.
“There’s a saying that goes something like, “If you want to feel good, help someone.” This saying rings true for me. So, when I recently had the luxury of having a lot of free time I decided to share this gift by volunteering. I spent most of my time volunteering with Kairos Alive! because their work brings meaning and happiness to my life and to the lives of those they work with. It also incorporates two things I love: dance and social interaction.
On a weekly basis, I assisted with Kairos Alive’s Dancing Heart™ sessions. This is a time when the group works with the same group of people who have physical or cognitive disabilities. Experiencing a Dancing Heart session can be magical. When you walk in some of the participants are excited while others seem a little shy. But, once the music begins, bodies start moving and stories emerge. By the end of the session it feels like together the group has made a dancing heart.
As a parent, I have the thrill of occasionally sharing the Dancing Heart experience with my children. My kids bring their curiosity and youthful energy to sessions. In return, they are rewarded with attention and entertainment provided by the song, dance, and stories shared. They learn empathy and respect for people outside of their peer group.
“Reach Out, Touch a Hand, Make a Friend” is one of my favorite songs that is often played at sessions. It’s so appropriate because that’s what a Dancing Heart is. It’s a time when we encourage the group to extend themselves to move and make a connection with others. Often the other songs we dance to trigger a participant’s memory and when it is recounted it usually reminds someone else of a time in their own life. We become linked by sharing our experiences. We connect by moving together and inspired by watching each other. Sometimes we dance together; sometimes we do our own moves. It’s feels amazing to be in the flow of observing, participating, and occasionally being the center of attention.
By the end of a Dancing Heart session I feel relaxed and energized. I’ve done something meaningful with my day. I’ve connected with others, moved my body, and brought some joy to someone else’s day. When I say good-bye, I sense that everyone feels the same way too and that we’re all looking forward to making another Dancing Heart.”
-Alison – A Volunteer with Kairos Alive!