One thing I really like about living in the Boston area is the historical aspect. I had the opportunity recently to do a volunteer event at a church in one of the many historically significant locales nearby. The event was not church related nor was it history related and was a very rewarding event in and of itself.
As an added bonus, at the end of the event, the volunteer coordinator took us for a tour of the church, explaining how it was the church of the Adams family - no, not the Addams family, I'm talking about the colonial presidents John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. The church regularly gives tours for that very reason and charges money but we got to tour for free.
In the basement we entered a dark hallway with stone walls and cement floors and off to the side, a doorway with a wrought iron gate. Peeking through I could see some large stone shapes in a small room. "Wow, what's in there?" I asked. Matter of factly, the volunteer lady replied, "John Adams." What?? "You're kidding!" I remarked. But she was not kidding and she opened the wrought iron gate and led us into the Adams mosuleum. The large stone shapes were four tombs - John, his wife Abigail, their son John Quincy and his wife.
I was completely floored by the whole thing but I was most impressed to be in the presence of Abigail. I recently finished reading "Founding Mothers
" and therefore know quite a bit about this amazing, courageous woman. As I was telling all this to the volunteer lady, recalling how Abigail stayed behind while her husband was off dealing with the revolution and how she alone was left to defend family and homestead, I looked down and noticed my hand resting on the top of her tomb. I had chills to say the least - there I was recounting the details of a two hundred year old historical figure with my hand resting on the cool rough stone of her tomb. It was almost as if she was in the room with me. A very surreal experience all around. So you see, volunteer work can pay off in more ways than you might expect.