How Volunteering Makes Martin's Heart Jump with Joy!

We are very grateful to Martin van Tonder for writing this letter about his reasons for volunteering, why he enjoys it and why he thinks you should volunteer too. Martin volunteers with the Failte Isteach English conversation classes in Monaghan Town as a tutor. 

"Dear volunteer,

I’m writing this letter to you on behalf of the Volunteer Centre in Monaghan. A couple of months ago I broke my wrist in a work accident and could not do much of anything. I was very bored at home and drove my wife crazy. I started looking for something to do, to keep my mind busy and negative thoughts away. Just so you know, I am an immigrant from South Africa and have been living in Ireland for the last year and 10 months. Back home, I used to volunteer at my local church and it gave me a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Giving back to the community has always appealed to me and for this reason I contacted my local Volunteer Center in Monaghan. They were very helpful and we sat down and discussed what they had to offer and what skills I had to give. So knowing that I use to teach teenagers back home we decided that helping at the English conversation classes was the best option for me. I jumped right in!! The first Monday morning and night I went to St. Joseph Pastor Center and met all the leaders there. I sat down with a couple of teachers so they could show me the ropes. I had my first group the following week. 

Wow, what an experience it has been meeting all the people from different countries and with various heritage. From South Europe to Asia to Africa they were very keen to learn and practice their new language. It also just showed me that there are so many people in this town that just need to be heard and are craving some social interaction with people. I have noticed since I have been here that there are a lot of immigrants that spend their time in isolation, and if by doing this I give someone the courage and hope that they can have a social life outside their work place it will have made my heart jump with joy.  Truly I tell you if you have the time and are able please get into contact with your local volunteer center, as they need all the help they can get!

Kind Regards 

Martin van Tonder"