Nicole: “volunteering has taught me that happiness is often derived from the littlest things”

Nicole Guercia thanksgiving volunteer

Nicole Guercia of South Boston shares why she is volunteering on Thanksgiving Day here at St. Francis House.

I originally heard about St. Francis through Boston Cares, a volunteer agency that partners with many organizations throughout the city.

I loved coming to St. Francis so much that I wanted to take on more shifts and began volunteering here directly. I now come every Wednesday and Sunday! There are so many reasons why I love volunteering that it’s hard to properly articulate it.

There is a quote that keeps popping into my head from the famous commencement speech “This Is Water” by David Foster Wallace; “The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.”

The first part of this quote resonates with me because volunteering gives you the attention and awareness to know that everyone has a story to tell that you know nothing about, and to therefore treat people with dignity, compassion, and respect. This lesson has helped me as I volunteer and in life in general.

The second part of this quote strikes me because volunteering has taught me that happiness is often derived from the littlest things; the days I feel best after leaving St. Francis are the ones where I learn a few names, surprise someone by remembering how they like their breakfast, or am able to make someone smile.

Caring about people in “myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day” is true freedom and happiness- I am still on my way to becoming the best person I can be but volunteering is helping me get there!

A weekly volunteer, this is Nicole’s first time spending Thanksgiving with St. Francis House

Well first off, Bill House (a fellow volunteer) had been asking me since summertime if I was going to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day! 😊 Also, my family lives right in Boxford so they are going to wait for me to have dinner- best of both worlds!

– Nicole Guercia, St. Francis House supporter