Time On Their Hands—Urban Angels Featured Volunteers

By: Dawn Siddons

Time is the only value that cannot be earned back. It will always move forward and will never be replaced. It’s something people will spend a lifetime appropriating. Try to understand its complex concept but don’t spend too much contemplation, because, well—no one needs to waste time.

“People need to know it’s a different rewarding method of socializing,” said Miki Airada, San Diego’s modest gem and volunteering angel.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Airada attributes her approachable, helpful, and daring heart (her three self-describing words) to her father who was an LA officer. “He was the kind of man who’d pull over on the highway to change a strangers flat tire, said Airada. “He’d help any stranger that needed it.”

Wrapped up in the many roles of life, Airada seems to balance out well—or as well as any single mother, working full-time, with a college kid, and volunteering four separate organizations could. She might not be a wonder woman, unless wondering meant marveling over how she manages time, but she is a community hero with an invisible bound lasso showcasing justifiable truth of happiness. Airada volunteers for Sharp Hospice, Foster Youth Mentor, Race Crew, and of course Urban Angels.

“Quality of life for me is being happy,” said Airada. “Happy is being who I am and loving what I do.” Airada said that value is measured beyond monetized depths; it’s personal experience, individual growth, and the power of support in community. “Don’t be afraid to give of yourself,” said Airada.

While it’s no wonder Airada makes a great candidacy of Urban Angels featured volunteer, the busy bee is not the only volunteer devoting time to the community.

“It’s good to share our stories, to take each others experiences and apply them to our lives,” said Ron Buccat, San Diego’s step-to-the plate compassionate leader and volunteering angel.

It takes a certain kind of humility, compassion, and above all purpose for anyone to gain reputable reputation and influence change. Having been on both spectrums of the Urban Angels concept, giving and receiving, Buccat explained the importance of serving others and being a part of the community.

“I’ve lived out of my car for a week once, begging for gas money to keep it running during the harsh winter nights of New Mexico,” said Buccat. Digesting the emotional strain of losing his job, drinking his sorrows and being evicted from a home, Buccat said he overcame personal pride and sought out help.

After a rough reality check, Buccat illustrates nothing short of human humility and expressive gratitude. Back on his feet, Buccat is a cheerleading coach at Del Norte High School, as well as, a part-time speed and agility coach, and of course an Urban Angels volunteer. “Serving others is rewarding,” said Buccat.

“It’s all the same story but a different struggle,” said Buccat. “Don’t take life too seriously and remember to enjoy the moments that count.”

Buccat’s take-nothing-for-granted attitude not only reflects on his own struggles but the recent loss of his mom & younger brother. Buccat said that he use to always plan for the future rather than live like each day could be the last. While he endorses hard work, he also wants to remind others to give and be grateful for every passing moment.

(Miki Airada, left; Ron Buccat, right)

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” —  Abraham Lincoln

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