Happiness Is Only Real When Shared — Dec. Featured Urban Angels
By: Dawn Siddons
It twas the season to be jolly and this feature story is a tad bit late but why not extend the holiday cheer? And why should we endorse happiness to but a season? It should be an endeavored goal to the seconds. December’s feature volunteer, Michelle Madarang, explained her understanding of things that matter.
“I just love doing it – I do it for nothing else,” said Madarang as she explained her motivation to volunteer. Madarang’s uncle sparked her interest in volunteering at a young age after he brought her to a charitable 5k as a helper. Madarang said that shortly after her first event she began to read and explore other sources of volunteer opportunities. Cycling, hiking, and running are just a few of Madarang’s enjoyable hobbies.
“I find inspiration from everybody – especially positive people,” said Madarang. “Positive people rub off on me because I want to feel that same energy from the person.” Madarang’s desire of positive attitude seems to exuberate her three self-describing words of humility, care, and happiness. Not only does Madarang’s quaint demeanor suggest her genuineness, her shared story reveals insight to her understanding of things that matter.
Having served in the United States Armed Foces in the Navy branch for close to eight years, working in the medical field, Madarang credits the military for her worldly perspective and compassion for life. Globetrotting as far as Japan, Madarang found cultural demonstration of happiness in simplicity. “People live simple in other parts of the country,” said Madarang. “Materialistic things aren’t the most important and the Louis Vuitton bag is not a necessity.” Lavished items are not high in the ranks for achieved happiness, at least not to Madarang.
“My favorite moment volunteering happens each time I go,” said Madarang. “It’s always a moment for me, a chance to reflect.”
The second feature volunteer for December seems to root into the same philosophy of simplicity. From the small town of Loudonville, Ohio, Michael Cain embodies the persona of a modest man, at least that would be me opinion after sharing a short, slightly broad, and to the point interview. Cain also serves the US Armed Forces for the Navy branch.
Cain is back home in Ohio visiting his family and girlfriend, Raycene, and during our interview he was on his way home from the grocery store. The grocery shopping must have been to prepare for quality time around the table or to stock up for hibernation with all the recent and unconventional weather.
“I enjoy it. I miss it when I can’t go,” said Cain as he explained what volunteering with Urban Angels is like. “I like volunteering with Urban because you have fun – there are rules but then again not really, it doesn’t feel like a job.” With Urban Angels rather than being told what to do, individuals find their own fit in how to contribute. Some of the appreciated tasks include preparing food, setting the table, coordinating food distribution, washing dishes, or even sharing a meal and conversation at the table with the residents because they’re family too.
Cain’s three self-describing words are outgoing, family orient, and empathetic. His hobbies include gym, marathons, and quality time spent with family and friend.“Volunteer means going out of your way to help someone else,” said Cain. “Something small could mean the world to someone else.” Contribute beyond yourself and the opportunity of positive fulfillment increases.
Or to the date of the posting there are 358 days ahead. As the year continues to move forward let it be a personal challenge to become infectious. Treat others as you would like to be treated and act as you would like to be recognized. And remember that happiness IS only real when shared.
(Michelle Madarang, left; Michael Cain, right)