Perfectly Reasonable is a sexy medical romance and follows Trace’s journey as he applies to medical school. When I asked medical students what made their application successful, most said that their volunteer experience – and starting to volunteer early – tipped the scales. It didn’t have to be fancy or far away, but it was important to be able to reflect on the volunteering experience and how it helped them grow – from learning how to interact with people, to showing empathy, to taking on a leadership role. I’ve invited 4 very special people to share their stories about volunteering – 4 compelling reasons to volunteer and some great ideas if you’re wondering what’s out there to do!
Marion O’Connor ~ It was my pleasure to assist newly arrived refugee families become accustom to Canadian life. It was a very rewarding experience as I helped them with our language and accompanied them to various appointments and shopping activities. In return, I learned about life and the hardships they experienced in their country. It certainly makes you appreciate how fortunate we are to live in Canada.
Lin Arthur ~ I am most fortunate to have been a person who worked in an area about which I am passionate – I loved working with families, multiply disabled children (particularly infants), teaching physiotherapy students, and being a member of a multidisciplinary team. By being a mentor and sharing my experiences and perspectives with newly graduated, gifted physiotherapists who chose pediatrics, I felt that I could participate in shaping the future of the profession through influencing their practice and offer a point of view other than what’s offered in the classroom setting. In return, they helped bring me up to speed on the current fields of thought, technology, and measurable outcomes. We created a healthy exchange as we brainstormed over complex patients! I really enjoyed it, and I think the patients benefited from the art of the old and the science of the new!
Anne Richards ~ So why do I volunteer? I have been most fortunate to have travelled to many interesting places. I’ve seen poverty and the struggles of people just trying to carve out a life. I always felt blessed to live in a county with so many freedoms and privileges . . . as my Dad used to say when I was growing up “Giving back is the rent you pay for the space you occupy”.
I have always chosen interesting ways to volunteer. I have taught English to immigrants from Vietnam, started a Grandmother group to support Grandmothers in Africa who are raising their orphan grandchildren with very few resources after their children died of HIV-AIDS, helped Aboriginal kids with reading, taught them to play the piano or to weave. I’ve always been interested in helping single mothers continue with their post-secondary education. There are so many wonderful ways to make the life of someone else just a little bit better. You truly gain much more than you give!!
Tammy Scott-Zelt ~ I’ve volunteered at the local soccer club for over a dozen years. My role as a volunteer included coaching players from the boy’s and girl’s house league to a men’s competitive team, participating on the board of governance, and lending a happy hand in many other tasks involved in keeping a soccer club successful. I’ve made many lifelong friends whom I never would’ve crossed paths with otherwise. The soccer club grew from 1200 to 2000 players over the last 20 years, and I feel that my hard work as a volunteer on the board contributed to the club’s success. Volunteering is very fulfilling. Coaching children and seeing them grow to young adults and make their own path in life is the best feeling, because I feel like I was a part of helping them reach their goals. I want to be a good role model – not only as a coach, but to encourage them to volunteer when they become parents! Yes, volunteering takes time away from family and chores, but organizations would never survive unless community volunteers stepped forward to help. If you’re looking to meet new friends, figure out what you’re passion about, or even if you’re not sure what you have to offer, contact the organization and offer to help. Trust me, all organizations are desperately looking for volunteers and they’ll be thrilled to see a new face.
There you have it – 4 compelling stories about volunteering. It’s truly inspiring and very rewarding to volunteer! From helping out at a food bank, reading with elementary students, playing piano for the elderly, there are so many opportunities to give back, enrich the lives of others, and learn something about yourself. So get out there and volunteer!! In Perfectly Reasonable, Margo volunteers at a soup kitchen and pulls Trace in to help. Watching him help others is irresistibly sexy!
Margo MacMillan finished medical school, but in the process, her self-confidence and self-esteem took a beating. So for the sake of self-preservation, she’s stepped away from medicine to re-group. In the meantime, painting soothes her soul and pays the bills.
Trace Bennett set his sights on a medical degree and has to prepare the perfect medical school application. His big plan is to paint his condo for a little feng shui divine luck. When Margo shows up to paint, he realizes he’s found exactly what he’s looking for. He just has to convince Margo to share more than the art of medicine.
She’s got it. He wants it. It’s Perfectly Reasonable.
Enjoy an excerpt from Perfectly Reasonable ~
Margo moved over to paint the door of Trace’s condo. She carefully filled in the area around the light switch where the roller couldn’t reach and angled the brush to edge around the doorframe. “What other skills do you have?”
She glanced over at him. “What else are you good at?”
“Weeeelll,” he said with a wide grin.
Margo turned back to her painting. A ripple of awareness ran through her at the picture that created in her head. “Uh-uh,” she acknowledged, when she found her voice. “We’re looking for skills you can write on your resume.”
“I know CPR. I’ve even used it once.”
“Yes. Resuscitating a dog.”
She raised her eyebrows at him.
“What? It was a tense situation,” he said.
“I’m sure it was, but you’ll need a little more. What else have you got?”
“Let me get my application.” He disappeared down the hall, and when he returned carrying his laptop, he had changed into jeans and a long-sleeved navy sweater. She tried not to stare at his very fine frame. The sweater hugged his broad shoulders and made his eyes look bluer. And what was it about a guy in bare feet that she found so sexy?
He set his laptop on the counter and opened it. “Okay, let’s see. Small animal rescue,” he read and looked over hopefully.
“That’s good. It’d be even better if you were applying to be a veterinarian, but still, it shows compassion. What did you do?”
He rubbed his chin. “I, ah, mostly scooped chipmunks and mice out of our pool.”
“I know. They’re not very good swimmers.”
Margo shook her head. “What else?”
“I worked as a volunteer firefighter.”
“That’s impressive.” She looked over. “For people, right?”
“Technically, yes. Although we lived quite far from the fire station, so by the time I got there, the pumper truck had usually left.”
“Did you join them?”
He looked sheepish. “It wasn’t usually necessary, but I always helped with the post-call maintenance – cleaning the truck, putting away the hoses – that kind of thing.”
“Helpful but not inspiring.”
“I volunteered at the hospital.”
“Excellent. Shows that you’ve tried to understand what medicine is all about. What did you do there?”
“I worked in the gift shop.” He shrugged. “They needed some muscle to organize their stock.”
“Any patient interaction at all?”
“Not unless they came in to buy something.”
“Last year, I organized and led a group called the Venn Diagrams at school.”
She was afraid to ask.
“They were trying to remove the vending machine from the graduate student lounge, and we successfully petitioned against it. I’m happy to say our access to Pepsi and Crunchie bars went uninterrupted.”
She groaned. “Trace, that’s terrible.”
“What? Leadership skills,” he pointed out.
“For a cause against good health. You’re aiming to be a health promoter.”
“The grad students were very happy. Whatever happened to ‘everything in moderation is okay?’”
“Sure, if there’s a balance. Did you fight for anything healthy? Fruit in the lobby? Children’s breakfast programs?”
“Seriously? No.” He waved his hands in the air. “Pepsi in the lounge was our one and only cause.” He sighed impatiently and closed his laptop with a snap. “That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.”
She waved the paintbrush at him. “You have some serious volunteering to do in the next four weeks.”
Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, sexy romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA