Jonathan is a senior in high school and a volunteer at Cause in the digital entertainment library program (C-DEL) as well as the Massage Marathon Team. He organized a fundraiser at his school that raised over $1200 and generated a significant amount of awareness about Cause and their programs to help veterans.
Below is my interview with him about his experiences volunteering with Cause.
What made you join an organization like Cause?
I originally heard about Cause through my sister, who has been a devoted Cause volunteer for many years now. The idea of helping wounded soldiers was very appealing to me.
What is the most difficult reality that you have had to face through your work with Cause?
I would have to say, that the most difficult reality I faced came when I was just getting started. You can see war scene after war scene in the latest Hollywood film, or replay the most emotive parts of Pearl Harbor to yourself countless times, yet seeing soldiers barely a year or two my senior in the physical situation they were in was quite a pill to swallow. The first time I saw a soldier waltz through the Mologne house sans leg, I didn’t know what to say, what to do or how to act. I was in shock. Then, over time, I realized that the only element missing from the care-loaded patients’ day was possibly the most vital: the human aspect - be it a smile, a joke or random anecdote. The most humbling realization was that the most effective thing we could offer is a sense of normality in a very abnormal environment.
What results have you seen due to your work with the organization?
I truly believe that as a result of volunteering, I have grown as a person. I have found a whole new appreciation for what these soldiers do and what truly remarkable men and women they are. Prior to volunteering, I may have had a basic understanding of the situation soldiers were in after war, but volunteering has really brought it home. Soldier’s appreciation for what seems like such little work on my part is quite incredible.
How do you think, in general, people can best pay tribute to the military and all that they do for our country, even if they only have a moment to spare in their busy lives.
Too many volunteers is never really a bad thing, however, I believe the best way the general public can pay tribute to military personnel is by devoting a little bit of time out of their day to the military. They could put together a gift pack, share a simple anecdote, or even just saying “thank you for your service.” Human interaction can be the most effective catalyst to recovery.
If you'd like more information about volunteer opportunities at Cause, please visit www.cause-usa.org for more information. We'd also like to send out a special thank you to Kara Johnson at Cause for all of her help with facilitating the interview!