Liz Purdy, Outreach and Events Coordinator, reflects on post-volunteer life and the joys of finding former volunteer community:
Even as a JV I knew the former volunteer network was vast and supportive, particularly after several random FJV run-ins when strangers generously offered whatever I might need as a JV simply because they were once in my shoes. My greatest joy as Outreach and Events Coordinator so far was organizing the Former Volunteer Retreat held in November 2012 at Ghormely Meadows in the Cascades. An amazing community of 41 former volunteers from a variety of service organizations came together for a weekend of resting, reflecting, and spending some quality time getting to know each other and hearing about their experiences as volunteers. Post-volunteer life can be full of just as many joys, unknowns, and challenges as serving a volunteer year. Gathering as a community for a weekend to listen, learn, and honestly examine all that we encounter each day reminds us of the beauty of coming together to support one another and continue our work for positive change, in whatever form that may take after our service year.