How I Volunteer as a Mom of Small Kids


It’s a Tuesday morning shortly after 9 am, and I’m on my way to pick up a friend from his home for our normal Ollie’s and Dollar Tree run. As I pull into his driveway at 9:30 on the dot, Mr. Gene is perched on a stool in his open garage reading a book as usual. He folds his tall frame into the front seat of my minivan, and we’re off. We chat about the weather. I ask for an update on his wife’s health, and he asks how my kids are doing. We talk about the books we’re reading – we both love detective novels – and he gives me an update on Auburn basketball. He follows it more closely than I do. The first time I picked him up, Mr. Gene had already planned our route for efficiency – a loop with all right turns. I pull into a parking spot at the very front of the Ollie’s parking lot, and he goes in. While he shops, I check email, play the day’s Wordle, and then pull out the book I brought. 

Mr. Gene is a member of Village Friends, a local nonprofit organization that helps seniors maintain their independent lifestyles by providing services such as transportation, shopping assistance, technology support, social gatherings, and more. Volunteers like myself are able to see open requests from members in an online portal and sign up for the ones that fit our skills and schedules. 

The annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration.

As one of the youngest volunteers for the organization and a mom of small kids, I’m often asked by members why I volunteer with Village Friends. I tell them the truth: Jesus told me to. 

Early last year I asked God to give me a burden — to show me the way He wanted me to be his hands and feet in our community. I had put off praying that particular prayer because I knew He would answer it, and I wasn’t sure I wanted another burden. As a mom, I thought it would be something to do with children. But not long after that prayer, my husband found me sobbing one evening because, “Some older people are lonely and *loud sniff* what if they have no one to visit them??” 

So that answered that question.  

But how was I going to be able to fit volunteering into a life of being a stay at home mom, working part time, and also fulfilling my other obligations? I didn’t know. 

My husband knew I was looking for a volunteer opportunity specifically with seniors, and happened to see a flier for Village Friends. After doing a bit of research, I realized that it would be the perfect fit. I’m able to view and choose member requests based on my schedule. Some weeks I’m able to take multiple requests, and some weeks I can’t take any. Because of my time constraints, I mostly take requests that are in the mornings while my kids are in school. And I obviously have to take a break whenever the kids are out of school or sick. I’ve learned that a minivan is perfectly suited for transportation requests. It’s easy to get in and out of, and I can fit two walkers and groceries in the back with room to spare. 

My friend, Bonnie, and I enjoying a symphony performance at the GPAC.

Since joining Village Friends, I’ve taken people to doctors appointments, to the nail salon, grocery store, and I even got to accompany a friend to the symphony! I’ve met so many lovely people, and the most caring, dedicated group of volunteers. Some volunteers spend hundreds of hours each year helping members. I am in awe of these local heroes and can only aspire to their contribution.

I recently attended my first funeral of a member I knew. It hit me harder than I expected. I know the longer I volunteer, the more there will be. Volunteering in this capacity, making friends and growing to genuinely love people, is inviting grief into your life. But it’s also inviting beauty, perspective, and wisdom. 

We put together and delivered Valentine’s bags to all our subscribers.

I only get through a few chapters of my book today. Mr. Gene walks surprisingly fast for a 90-year-old. We complete our errands, and in less than an hour, I’m helping him unload his bags into his garage. He compliments my driving as he always does, and we say “See you next time!” 

Follow Village Friends on Facebook!

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more or joining Village Friends, you can check out the volunteer page of the website here.

Don’t have the time to volunteer, but want to support Village Friend’s mission? Become a supporter here



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Sarah Savage
Sarah Savage is originally from Crestview, Florida, but has called the Auburn/Opelika area home for the last 14 years. She graduated from Auburn in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She and her husband, Jonathan, have a six year old daughter and a three year old son. Sarah works part time from home as a Communications Editor for Auburn University, but spends most of her time attempting to keep her kids from climbing—and subsequently falling off—furniture and providing an endless supply of snacks. She enjoys working out, reading, baking, listening to podcasts, and volunteering with local service organizations.


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