Volunteer of the Year

December 26, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Susan Dollyhigh –

Serving at the homeless shelter has given me the opportunity to work with many wonderful people.

Ms. Pam makes crafts with the children on Tuesday night, so the mothers can enjoy spending time in God’s Word.

Ms. Carole and her husband, Jim, have Sunday school around the kitchen table every Sunday morning. The residents learn about Christ through their ministry.

Mary Z. serves as a Spanish interpreter and drives residents to doctor’s appointments, work, and helps with miscellaneous chores at the shelter.

Jake has been visiting the shelter since it opened. He lives close by so it’s just a short walk for him, and he visits at least twice a day.

I lead a Bible study on Tuesday evenings. During the summer we sit on the back porch and Jake usually joins us. Sometimes Jake arrives late, but he quietly finds a seat without being disruptive. Even so, when he arrives, all eyes turn to him, all faces grow soft, and all mouths turn up in a smile.

When Bible study is over, Jake jumps up, and wastes no time greeting each resident. Everyone, from toddlers to grandmothers, quickly comes to love Jake. For this reason, Jake is definitely the volunteer of the year.

Jake has that quality we all strive for – unconditional love. There’s not one ounce of prejudice in him. He doesn’t care about anyone’s past. He’s glad to get to know everyone, and gives them love, comfort, and companionship.

I’m sure Jake doesn’t brag about his “volunteer work.” Jake’s own family may not be aware of his frequent visits to the shelter. But they should be proud of him. They must have modeled kindness and shown him a lot of love. They also taught him some other really neat tricks – like how to sit, how to shake hands, how to roll over.

Yes, Jake is a four-legged volunteer, and we don’t know his real name. Someone started calling him Jake and the name stuck.

I’m thankful God planted the seed for a homeless shelter in the hearts of those who worked to make The Shepherd’s House a reality. I’m thankful God provides board members, staff, and volunteers who have a heart for homeless people.

I’m also thankful God sent a big, ol’ yellow lab who touches the hearts and lifts the spirits of all of us at the shelter.

QUOTE: A pet is someone who listens with their heart, speaks with a look, and teaches with love (Seen in vet’s office).

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you…In God’s hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7 & 10 NIV)

About Susan Dollyhigh

Susan Shelton Dollyhigh is a free-lance writer, columnist and speaker. Susan has two children and three wonderful grandchildren and resides in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Susan is a contributing author in Spirit and Heart: A Devotional Journey, Faith and Finances: In God We Trust and The Ultimate Christian Living. Susan’s articles and devotionals have appeared in Connection Magazine, Exemplify Magazine, Mustard Seed Ministry, P31 Woman, The Upper Room and The Secret Place. She is also a contributing online writer for ChristianDevotions.us and InternetCafeDevotions.com.
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2 Responses to “Volunteer of the Year”
  1. Hally Franz says:

    Susan, this is very sweet. It’s amazing what love our pets can provide, and Jake sounds a little like a favorite yellow lab I know named Teddi!

    • Susan Dollyhigh says:

      Hally, I just ran across your sweet response! I don’t know how I missed it! Thank you for your kind words. Blessings, Susan

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