Based on the original work by Cement C. Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas, for this volunteer,
I sat in my house, warmed by the cheer.
Full of good food and counting each friend,
I took just a moment to reflect at year-end.
Those that I love were snuggled up tight,
Dreaming that Santa was coming that night.
Seeing the presents all wrapped ’round the tree,
A disquieting thought slowly crept over me.
Cold winds were blowing just outside my door,
Reminding my heart what I could not ignore.
The hungry and homeless, lost in our city,
Poor, lonely seniors who deserve more than pity!
Children in schools that can’t help their need,
Wishing for someone to teach them to read.
For those living each day as they battle HIV,
Having access to fresh, healthy groceries is key!
“There’s so much to do,” I said with a sigh,
“Who’s up to the challenge?” Surely not I!
I’m just plain, old me; I can’t solve all this woe.
I wouldn’t know what to do; I don’t know where to go!
So armed with my laptop, I hopped online quick,
Finding the answer took merely a click!
People making a difference without much delay,
Each hour they spent proclaimed, “We care, East Bay!”
With knowledgeable partners and bright volunteers,
They’ve been serving the neediest for more than 56 years!
I registered quickly and signed up right then,
With so many choices I didn’t know where to begin.
Tutoring, art clubs, outdoors galore,
BINGO, food pantries, dog-walking, and more.
Serve dinner at a shelter and show off Bubbie’s kugel,
Or spend time with seniors to teach them to Google.
With so many ways to simply give back,
I pictured a day when no one need lack,
The basics of life we’re all meant to enjoy;
A healthy, safe life for each girl and boy.
I called on my family, each in-law and cousin,
Soon a roomful of computers really got things a-buzzin’.
We each found a project that was close to our heart,
Knowing, full well, that this was just a start.
What started as sadness soon become hope,
Serving my neighbors and helping them cope.
My greatest surprise was not under the tree,
The gift I received, was a more happy me!
And what if this feeling, these actions could last,
What if I need not return to the past?
By choosing to serve throughout the whole year,
Each day, week and month could be filled with good cheer!
And now, to all, I’ll stop bending your ear,
But with this piece of advice, go serve, volunteer!
When we help one another the world feels so right,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”