I recently sat down with Rob, one of our active volunteer CareDRIVERs, to ask him a few questions about his involvement in the CareBOX Program. We are so lucky to have Rob as a CareBOX Program volunteer.
What inspired you to get involved? I have wanted to help people since I was 8 years old. Specifically, I said aloud for my Dad to hear “when I grow up I’m going to be a philanthropist and make Coca Cola help EVERYONE!”. It wasn’t obvious to me at that time that doing so meant I would have to have the financial and social power to influence Coca Cola’s decisions. Unfortunately, I do not. The feeling of wanting to help people never disappeared but it did come and go in its focus over time until just late last year. I realized and accepted that I had been someone who talked about it, but didn’t really do anything to actually put my physical body out there in the world helping people. Shortly after that realization, someone I trusted and admired had gotten involved with the CareBOX Program in a leadership role and it felt like the last excuse or reason for hesitation was removed. This was one of the gift’s of growth I had been looking for right before me.
I took action, took a chance and showed up to listen, ask questions and learn more. I’ve never looked back and with just my first delivery it felt like my whole life was changing for the better.
I am dedicating my work with the CareBOX program to my Aunt Barb who passed away from cancer in her early 40’s. She was the youngest of three kids who made her career as an educator whose mission it was to help children with hearing and learning deficiencies. I was a Junior in college and was rushed to Arizona to see her along with the rest of the family. I will never forget how much I didn’t understand what was going on. Where did all of her hair go? Why was she in the hospital bed with a hospital gown on? What was going to happen? I was afraid but in shock as well. This couldn’t be real I thought. She’s going to be ok. Her cancer started in her breast and quickly moved to her brain within a 6 week period before she passed far to soon for what she had to offer the world. The looks of fear and concern in my father and aunt Judy’s eyes as they watched their baby sister go through a process that ultimately lead to her leaving this world will always be a vivid haunting image to me, but her smile at me as she noticed my fear will be the one that I think of the most. Her love and gentle spirit have and are always with me and every delivery I do is for her as well as our patients.
What’s your favorite part about being a CareBOX volunteer? My favorite part is picking up the items, talking with everyone for a few minutes, loading my truck and delivering the items to our “Cared For” (patients). It gives me the feeling of making a positive difference in someone’s life. The bonus part is it does the same for my life in a very tangible way.
What have you learned about yourself as a result of your volunteer experience? I have learned how truly lucky and blessed I am along with how much I hold myself back due to unwarranted fear.
What’s it like delivering care supplies to local cancer patient’s homes? Of the two deliveries I’ve made each one is different because of the individual patient, location and items delivered. Both of my “CaredFor” patients have been very nice and thankful. It’s exciting driving to the patient’s home and bringing them the items with my own hands. It fills me full of gratitude. Sometimes I cry when I’m done for multiple reasons, but that is ok, they aren’t tears of sadness. Those tears are of hope and inspiration.
What would you tell others who are considering being of service in their community? I would tell them everyone should do it. It will change your life in many positive ways and help others along the way.