The Holy Bible, reminds us that when we give, God returns our gifts in such abundance that we can barely receive them all.
Lately, we’ve been hanging out with different kinds of volunteers, and we’ve seen for ourselves that those who give the most, get the most, not necessarily in material possessions, but in things that mean so much more, such as joy, peace, grace, and unexpected miracles.
Last Thursday, Bill and I attended a University of Central Florida (UCF) Alumni Volunteer awards banquet. I was honored to be asked to condense the bios that would be read at the ceremony. That allowed me to know the nominees better even though I had not met them. It gave an extra edge to my enjoyment of the evening. Of course, being a typical writer, I took mental notes of how I could do better next time.
The UCF mascot is a knight. When a graduate does something notable with his life, he can be nominated for the annual Notable Knight award and designation. Christine F., a nurse practitioner was one of the runners up. She travels from one facility to another tending to the needs of aging and post-surgical clients. She goes to bat for her patients — whatever they need. Bill C. the other runner up, took a central role in the modernization and refurbishment of the Launch Facilities at Kennedy Space Center. Notable Knight, 2014, is Mitch V. the man who changed the Space Coast’s reputation, helping students from all over America by putting on marathons and triathlons to take the place of other less than beneficial pursuits at spring break. Christine, Bill C. and Mitch all make community service an integral part of their lives.
Then there were the scholarships presented to students who excelled at leadership, community service and academics. This year’s nominees came from the fields of medicine and education, but it was apparent from reading the applications that they could do anything they set their minds to.
One graduate who had been awarded scholarships before, returned to thank the UCF Alumni for helping her get all the way through school to the place where she is now – working on her PhD Program. She will be serving the needs of abused children, a tribe she knows well, as she was once one of them.
The people at the ceremony were wonderful, not only the honorees, but also the members of the UCF Space Coast Alumni who raised funds, organized the attendees, interfaced with the caterer, and took care of all the red tape and details that come with event planning. They create and join in many other volunteer events during the year and having known some of them, I know they are truly blessed in return.
“Bring all the tithes (a tenth of our money and time) into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” Malachi 3:10