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Volunteering LLLeads to Family

Rachel Hillman
Arlington TX USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2008, p. 12

Last March my co-Leaders and I, along with some close Group members, met at a restaurant here in North Texas, USA to celebrate and say goodbye to a close friend and co-Leader. A simple meeting like that was not easy! Although we have tried before, our lives and families make it difficult to get together often. But this was a special occasion, and our loss was about to become Corpus Christi's (Texas) gain; so of course we made every effort necessary to be there.

I don't know what your reason was for joining La Leche League. Mine was to find a playgroup. I was looking for friendship, others who could relate to my challenges as a new mother and support me in a way that my husband couldn't. What I eventually found was this group of women.

Some of the women around the table that night included Tanya, who has shared her family with me, and Lori, who brought me dinner when my baby was born. Deirdre does her best to get us together every month by organizing scrapbook crops, and Rachel is our go-to mom at any meeting. I found relationships like this in my own backyard, thanks to La Leche League.

Relationships are the core reason why I volunteer. It's pretty cool having a list of over 200 women in the state of Texas with whom I have something in common. I can always talk to another Leader. Volunteering on the Area level has given me even more opportunities to connect. As a District Advisor, I've had the chance to get to know Leaders I might never have had contact with otherwise. By being part of the LLL Texas 2006 Conference Team, I met Deb, who moved to Texas and jumped right in to help us out on the Area level -- and with the Conference too! I met Tina and her new baby at the '06 Planning Meeting, and I emailed so many others that year while working on the general session program. I had such a wonderful time that I signed up again for this year's Conference!

Corpus Christi is 420 miles from Arlington, Texas; but through the power of the Internet and phones, I don't have to lose touch with my former co-Leader. I can still share in her life, even if I do have to put up with those intolerable comments about beaches and sea breezes! It might have been hard to see her go if I had not formed relationships with other South Texas Leaders. I know that she has good people nearby to help her get settled. She is still near my LLL family, and that makes me glad.

I'm looking forward to this July, when our "family" will have its reunion at the LLL Texas Area Conference. I'll get to see then just how much Deb's children have grown in the past two years. And while I'm certain she is still just as cute, Tina's baby won't be in a sling, I'm sure. What a wonderful opportunity to see other women both newly accredited and seasoned, who love La Leche League just as much as I do! Whether we have met before does not matter; at the Conference Leaders have the opportunity to make connections that can lead to lifelong friendships.

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