Wednesday, January 14, 2015
VIVA the VOLUNTEERS
I have been lucky enough to make time to volunteer since Kate was little. At preschool I got to read to little people. Or help with art projects. It was such a delight. (Kids really do say the darnedest things!)
In elementary school, I worked more in the background (Kate was a bit embarrassed although she also enjoyed having my presence there). I helped kids who didn't have parents to help/encourage them with homework. Monitoring the computer lab was a very interesting task ... with 20 third graders!
While she was in grade school, I volunteered at my local Adult Community Center which eventually led to a spot on the Board. Then a full time job as Volunteer Coordinator. And best of all, we found some "adopted" grandparents to bring into our lives.
Yes ... I was present during junior high and high school. Where things got a lot more interesting ... with the OTHER volunteers!
Throughout all of these volunteer positions, it was evident that there are a few kinds of volunteers. Way too many "volunteers" simply want their name to show up. When called upon, they are "too busy" yet still want to remain chair of that committee. Several times when I arrived to do my job, I was commanded to go gather things from another mother's car and bring them in ... because she didn't want to mess up her clothes. Or could I drag out the tables and set them up as that Mom had just had a manicure.
Luckily I could always find socially appropriate words to politely, yet firmly, say no thanks ... I've got my own work to get done. Is there a class on how to motivate volunteers? It still annoys me!! It's understandable that some volunteers have more time than others but EACH volunteer can commit to something.
Just do it!