My journey began in the summer of 2002 when my mother encouraged me to do something different with my summer. Wasn’t much longer that I found myself signed up as a volunteer for Camp Buckaroo. I didn’t have much experience working with individuals with disabilities but was ready for the challenge. I remember the first time I walked into the building where camp was once held and clearly remember my heart beginning to pump as my eyes were soaking up every bit of life that surrounded me. I knew at that moment I was in a place I could quickly call “home” and destined to live out the feelings of compassion, connection, and joy that embodied my mind and spirit that day.
I can’t help but tell people when they ask me how and why I picked the field I am in, that it was because of every child, volunteer, and employee I connected with and learned from within the past 10 years. Some of my dearest friends are past volunteers and families of children who were once campers. My most fondest memories include many fun-filled weeks volunteering at camp and working in the office. Camp to me was more like a family reunion. I had the opportunity to gain and grow my friendships and watch and observe the campers and their families as they grew and accomplished their goals. Looking back I see a young 14-year-old girl eager to participate and learn and now I see a person who has developed into a compassionate, dedicated, responsible young adult most in part because of the years of volunteer and intern experience that this Easter Seals Greater Houston was able to provide to me.
Today, working as a Speech Language Pathologist for an amazing facility, I can look back and say, I don’t know where I would be or what path I would have taken without my experiences with Easter Seals. This organization has assisted in developing my skills of dedication, responsibility, love, and kindness for myself and others. I will never forget the time Christine Ellery, Camp Program Director, commented to my family and friends and said, “That’s who you call a lifer…” I hope others after me will be willing enough to fully experience the impact each child, family member, volunteer, and their interactions will bring to their life and others lives. We need more “lifers”! Thank you Easter Seals Greater Houston for not only providing a place of security and fun for each camper but for every volunteer.
Caitlind Davis M.S., CF-SLP
TIRR Memorial Hermann Kirby Glen
Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility