For some people, turning forty can be an impetus for change; for Nyree Anderson Miscia it was a call to action. She has committed to forty days of service leading up to her fortieth birthday and we caught her at the midway point of her journey to ask her a few questions.
If you are interested in embarking on an “epic” journey like Nyree’s or just looking for a single day of service with your friends and family, check out http://www.JerseyCares.org for hundreds of exciting opportunities where you can find your purpose.
Q: What inspired you to do 40 days of service in a row?
A: To me turning 40 is a big deal. I feel more fulfilled by helping others, therefore I wanted to ring in 40 with something big.
Q: You are on day 20 how is it going so far?
A: It’s going great. Today I was in Paterson at a women’s shelter spending time with children. I’ve also done a beach sweep with Jersey Cares. I’ve been meeting a lot of great people and learning about all the organizations I’ve been fortunate enough to work with.
Q: What has been your most rewarding experience?
A: There have been two standout projects that have been most rewarding. Saint Anne’s Soup Kitchen in Newark, being able to cook and serve the food to people was very fulfilling. Second, Mentheny School in Gladstone I got to spend time with six nonverbal students and we got to talk about election and they got to have a mock election. Seeing how they communicate was fascinating.
Q: What have you found most surprising?
A: This may sound strange (laughs) but at Selective Seconds in Belmar there was a piece of furniture that looked horrible, by the time we refurbished it, it looked brand new.
Q: How have your family and friends reacted to this news?
A: Some people think I’m nuts, some want me to come over and do their chores. In all seriousness, people have been very supportive, people have told me I’m inspiring them. People who I haven’t talk to in years have reached out on Facebook to show their support. People are so surprised how many places there are to volunteer at.
Q: What would you say to people who are thinking about volunteering through Jersey Cares?
A: Jersey Cares is a great organization. They have a variety of organizations to work with. Even if people don’t want to go to Newark or Paterson, you can volunteer for them behind the scenes doing admin work in Livingston. You can also volunteer everything from time to money.
Q: What advice would you give to people who want to undertake the same type of challenge?
A: Plan it. Make sure you give yourself some leeway. Make sure your schedule is flexible, somethings don’t always go as planned.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: I’ve learned to never be bored. There is always something to do. I am shocked how much attention this is getting; a newspaper might do a story about me. This has been a ton of fun being able to give back and dedicate time to others has been so rewarding. Remember, every little bit counts.