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Shannon: Community at 8:13pm

Submitted by bmattis on Fri, 03/27/2020 - 11:34

What's so special about 8:13 p.m?

Every day, my watch alarm buzzes at 8:13pm—a reminder of community. McCreary House has just three volunteers—Julia, Kody, and myself—and while some may think that community living as a volunteer would benefit from a larger group, my experience here has been nothing short of special and memorable.

Shannon, Julia and Kody on a hiking trip

In January, as we started developing new community routines and habits, we initiated a tradition of dancing at 8:13pm. We turn off all the lights and pick one song to blast at full volume, then we just dance like no one is watching. Our heart rates go up, we laugh and we let go of the things we carried through the day.

The dancing does not happen every single night. Sometimes we're taking time for ourselves or we're doing something else together, like working out or watching a show. But when that alarm goes off, even if we are not dancing, I feel lighter being reminded of the intention behind it and the two wonderful people that lift me up every single day.

Community has allowed me to build bonds that encourage growth, and these bonds show me an extension of God's love in my life. Times have been tough recently as we adjust to life during a pandemic. I never would have guessed that the year I decided to move across the country, we'd suddenly be in a crisis. I chose to take a chance on living with complete strangers, and I can't help but believe that a Greater Power played a part in putting the three of us together at this time.

In the midst of anxiety, uncertainty, and an overwhelming amount of emotions, my watch buzzes every evening at 8:13 p.m., and I remember that here in a house in the woods there is a community that genuinely loves and supports one another.

Shannon Scruggs is a One-Year volunteer and AmeriCorps Member serving in CAP's Elderly Services program in McCreary County. If you want to learn more about volunteering with CAP, email