TRF’s Volunteer of the Month for January 2017 is Carmel “Mamel” Vicencio!
Mamel is a nurse by education but a teacher and a creative at heart. She shares her many talents with TRF, including (but not limited to!) writing, teaching, marketing, & her knowledge and skills as a nurse. We are so grateful for her passion and help.
Q&A with MAMEL
How did you come to volunteer for TRF?
I came to TRF from the suggestion of my then doctor. She knew that, despite the unwillingness of practicing my profession (as a nurse), my heart still cares for the elderly. I saw that TRF brings relief mostly to their age group, so I went.
What were your expectations as a volunteer?
When I answered the online application form, I put a mark on anything I thought I could offer as a service. I was eager to receive a call. In short, I wasn’t as nervous… until the first day of joining the home visit! I cringed each time I thought I wasn’t qualified for any nursing functionality, but the good thing was, I wasn’t treated just as an accessory. I was with Nurse Mitch for my first encounter, and I felt welcomed like a colleague.
Describe the activities you volunteered for. Why did you choose them?
I volunteered for mostly office work. I did marketing, clerical work, anything artistic; and even “happy room”. I chose to volunteer for those because they’re what I love doing… anything except providing nursing care.
The funny thing here is, I actually scrapped nursing as a skill until Ms. Iso (the volunteer coordinator) oriented me. Walang takas! But, look where I am now — feeling fulfilled from my home visits!
How has the experience changed your life? What are your key reflections/lessons?
I will never get tired of learning that happiness comes from the mere action of being kind. Having Bipolar Disorder II, the ratio of good days to bad is 2 or 3 out of 40 — but my number of good days are growing. Days with TRF are happier; I am happier. TRF and their patients may need me, but I am the one who needs their service more!
Thank you Mamel!