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!










6 comments:

  1. In my experience volunteers either keep getting stuck with too much work and an increasing amount of responsibility than they signed up for or they get stuck with meaningless or no work because someone over scheduled too many volunteers at any given time. I've been in both situations.and I won't do it again.

    I can see that volunteering enriches your life and gets you out of the house however, I'm not good with being taken advantage of BUT you stand up for yourself and don't let that happen, So you can get the best out of the experience.

    Any of my future volunteer is going to be for certain events.that come up and not for a weekly or monthly commitment. Been here, done that and won't do it again.

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    1. Yep ... been there done that also. But like organized religion and politics, I take what I can use and forget the rest. Sometimes I just have to take a BREAK from groups when the drama gets to me.

      I do need to volunteer OR get a part time job! Keeps my brain going.

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  2. You have so much wisdom on so many things...maybe YOU should write a book, based on your experiences--part memoir and part instruction--on it! Of course it would become a best seller, and any financial worries you'd ever think about having would be over, and you can take me along on our world travels as your companion...

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    1. Wouldn't it be GREAT to be rich! I promise I wouldn't let the money change me detrimentally!!!

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  3. Leslie has a good idea there.
    I did a lot of volunteering when my son was young. I experienced a lot of what you're writing about here. It wasn't only other volunteers, but there were always a few parents who.... Don't get me started. :)

    I've caught up here tonight and left comments. What an entertaining night... especially that previous post.

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