Thursday, January 31, 2019

WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME????


Now that Deacon is also in school for three hours in the afternoon, I decided to volunteer at our local Adult Community Center.  The author of one of my favorite blogs (The Misadventures of Widowhood) writes of such great offerings from her senior center in Michigan.  

I emailed the director with some ideas from the midwest and told her I'm available for a few hours each week.  She introduced me to the lady (Mrs M) who runs the transportation part of the center who was looking for a team member to help research ideas for lunch trips twice a month as well as a short day trip once a month.  Food is my hobby so I sent her some suggestions.  And be a substitute driver.

Mrs J wanted to meet in person.  For now, it would be the two of us.  She has volunteered there for 20 years ... mostly driving the vans and busses. I volunteered there years ago, when Kate was in grade school.  Mainly I was looking for a special friend who needed a little company once a week and perhaps phone calls in between.  I ended up driving the van, driving my own vehicle to take Seniors grocery shopping, delivering meals on wheels and finally was asked to work part time as the Volunteer Coordinator.  I agreed but only during school hours.

Little did we know how many snow days we would have that year.  And how often kids are NOT in school!  It was a short 6 month stint and I found my special person (through my hairdresser!) so she was my volunteer project (I need to blog about her ... such fun we had!)

There were a few hurdles to jump through before I could be a volunteer again.  I had to take a driving seminar on how to interact with passengers.  Then get my fingerprints taken and pass a criminal background check.  (Yes, I passed.)  After careful consideration, I am not comfortable driving a bus and learning to park it.  Hard enough with my minivan!

Last week Mrs M asked me to be in charge of the transportation section of the adult center as her husband has cancer and is going to have a stem cell transplant.  CRAZY!  I don't want to work that many hours and I don't want to be in charge of anything!

8 comments:

  1. I don't blame you for not wanting to take care of transportation! Volunteers are so hard to find, when someone steps up they get burdened quickly.

    Our senior hall partners with a township high school who provides drivers (for a small fee) to drive our bus. It just takes planing to be sure their drivers are free for their morning and late afternoon routes. Before we had our own bus, we even rented their school bus. I don't know how many people your center is looking to transport, but if it's not too big a number you could suggest they partner with Uber. Our Movie and Lunch club through the center has everyone drive their own cars. Works great and some people make their own car pool arrangements.

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    1. Our center OWNS two vans (1/2 size of school bus), a large van and a small station wagon. The lunch trips are just a dozen ... most people go because they don't want to drive (and park).

      I don't want to be IN CHARGE of anything! Just drive once or twice a week. My family is my biggest volunteer job! With Jesse not driving .... I fill in a lot of gaps!

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  2. You have the perfect personality to be an "in charge" person and they see that in you. Organized, willing, smart, good suggestions. Just like when you were on the board in Maui.

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    1. I'm just full of suggestions!!! I just need to learn how to REITERATE how much time I want to volunteer! This being in charge stuff is a little too much.

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  3. I think that the problem with social groups is that when they find someone who is responsible and reliable they tend to push many tasks to them. I can understand your dilemma. My husband passed away 3 months ago (after 51 years of marriage) and 10 years with Alzheimer’s and me his only caregiver. My daughter told me I need to join some group to socialize but I am afraid that, just like you, too much will be asked of me, so I don’t think I’ll find a group quite yet.

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    1. Hi! At first I misread your name as Vagablonde! And thought kindred spirit! Blondes!

      Sorry for your loss. I spent the first year not socializing much at all. In fact, I've just started up again. the best thing I did for myself was blog (after being encouraged by The Misadventures of Widowhood).

      I turned into an introvert after he died and love my alone time. I prefer small groups where we can actually have conversations or large gatherings where I only know the host.

      It's easiest for me to just call a friend/acquaintance and ask when we could meet up for coffee! And I don't mind being a third wheel when invited.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  4. I believe I remember you writing about your special friend. It sounded like you both enjoyed it. Everyone has already written what I was thinking. I agree with Judy. You have all the traits they're looking for in a volunteer. And I agree with Jean and Vagabonde that they will find lots of tasks for you. Do what you can but don't let them push more on you than you want to do.

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    1. One on one with GrPat and GrGeorge was the BEST! They were grandparents to Kate. Mr. Ralph and GrGeorge hit it off as well ... they would go together to symphony or opera, then have a drink. She loved to cook.

      The hard part of stepping back from this transportation job is the former lady's husband is VERY sick and is getting a stem cell transplant. She told me we could work together via email... I tried that today .. got the message "I will be out of the office for a nundetermined amount of time. Please contact the front desk for any inquires"

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