Medine Tanrıverdi has been working at MAPFRE Turkey for 20 years, and since 2011, when the Volunteering Program was initiated, she has been working tirelessly to support all of its activities. So much so that she leads the way for her department in various donation campaigns, boosting the end result with her own individual efforts. Being a volunteer is a fundamental part of Medine’s life. She and her sister, who often lends her support during social events, conquer the hearts of children and the elderly alike with their unbridled, heartfelt compassion. Medine really has a lot of love to give. We’ll let Medine tell the rest of the story herself…
TEXT AND PHOTOS: MEDINE TANRIVERDI
In the 21st century, with nature under attack from humankind and whole species facing extinction, it is our duty as responsible human beings to protect the ecosystem around us.
In today’s big cities, people are constantly on the go, trying to tick myriad items off their endless to-do lists. We postpone many of our plans, pushing them back to the weekend, or when we take our annual leave, or even until retirement. And then we wake up one day and realize that life has passed us by. But life is the greatest gift given to us. Though at times we cannot recognize the value of life, I think we should at least try to be deserving of it. Depending on our standpoint, stories and events change and take on new meaning. When I look at life from the perspective of a volunteer, my whole outlook changes, and I want to reach out to even more people, learn more about them, and try harder to find a sense of solidarity with them.
I am often reminded of the old saying “You reap what you sow”. And so it is with life: whatever you do comes back to you full circle. Give to others and they will give to you in return. That’s what happiness is all about. Somebody with a healthy degree of self-love is at peace, loves the people around them and is willing to help others.
It falls upon us as parents and adults to guide our young people in the right direction and create a sense of awareness in them. Being part of the I’m a Volunteer program has shown me that life is all about flourishing – flourishing as you share and sharing even more as you flourish.
During our visits to the Foundation for Children in Need of Protection (Koruncuk) and the Kasev Nursing Home I’ve noticed that all the elderly residents or orphans wanted from us was a little bit of unconditional love. The moments that affect me the most during those visits are when I see the happiness on the faces of the elderly residents who equate love with being remembered, and when I see a sparkle in the eyes of a child yearning for love and compassion.
As someone who dislikes wastefulness, I find it gratifying to see unwanted items destined for the scrap heap given to those in need. This curbs excessive consumption and makes people aware of how much use others can get from things that may have outlived their useful lives for us.
My family has seen the positive change volunteering has had on me, and they support me 100% in everything I do, especially my sister Canan, who often comes along with me on our various outings. It’s wonderful to see her experience the same sense of the satisfaction and joy that my colleagues and I get from helping others.
Being part of the Volunteering program makes me feel as good as those who are on the receiving end of our activities.
To make a long story short: if you want to be happy, just spread the love.
Image: Picnic with children in need of protection (Koruncuk).