September 28, 2012

Have Some Spare Time? Volunteer!

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A friend of mine approached me the other day. She said she had been thinking about volunteering somewhere and when she mentioned it to her sister, she was told she should talk to me. Now I am far and away not an expert on this. But I do volunteer my time every week for hospice. So, I thought I would share a little about volunteering and try to convince others that they should try it.

{Disclaimer: Please don't think that I am trying to raise myself up as this perfect role model because I volunteer. That is not my intention at all! If I come across that way, I sincerely apologize. I merely want to encourage others who may be interested, that it is an extremely worthwhile thing to do. Because it really, really is.}

First of all, I've been volunteering for around four years now. Back in 2008, I had traveled to Mississippi (that state is so much fun to type!) to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. I was only there a week, but I realized in that short amount of time how much I enjoyed helping someone else. So when I got home, I decided there had to be something I could do around here that would be just as helpful. Long story short, hospice was the only available option for evenings or weekends. And now four years later, I'm still going strong (well........mostly).

I would absolutely urge anyone who has ever had the thought, to try it. There are all kinds of opportunities out there, and you don't have to give hours and hours of time. I myself only go about 2 hours a week (well, three if you count travel time). I do understand that since I don't have children, I have a little more spare time on my hands than other people may. But I also believe that if you want to make it happen, you can make it happen.

Perhaps try looking for an opportunity that's kid friendly. It doesn't have to be an organization either! It could simply be going to your neighbor's house and doing something for them once a week, or twice a month or something. (And what a great example to set for your children!)

The other thing I have learned is have a set time in your routine to do this. Whether you are working for an organization like hospice, or just helping out your neighbor or someone you know, have a specified day, a start time, and a length of time you will work. Now these things can be flexible, but since I am someone who finds it hard to stay committed to projects sometimes, this has been immensely helpful to me! I know every Thursday evening what I will be doing. Then when something else comes up, either I plan it for another night, or I change what night I go that week. Or sometimes I don't go at all. (That is also perfectly permissible. You know your schedule and what will work or won't work.)

My schedule is flexible, but I try not to move it around very often. I have too much of the tendency to want to stay home and read a book! :) (And it's not like I have temptation sitting right there or anything. Have you seen my bookshelves?)

Now let me be clear that I am not pressuring everyone to volunteer. If you've no desire, then by all means that is perfectly okay! (I promise I'll still like you.) I do realize that it is not for everyone out there. I just wanted to encourage someone who may be thinking about it already. The amazing thing about it is, you know you're helping someone else (I mean, that's the kinda the point), but you end up getting just as much, if not more, from it!

If you already volunteer your time somewhere, let me know in the comments. :)










Toodle-loo kangaroos!

4 comments:

  1. I love to volunteer too! However, just like this post, I like doing so in anonymity. It's the BEST! :)

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  2. Anon-an excellent policy! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  3. Okay. I know this is horribly random considering your post is about volunteering, but your bookshelf is awesome. Where did you get that dream decoration?

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  4. Courtney-it was actually a birthday present a few years ago. So I have no idea where they got it, sorry. But isn't it great? I love it! :)

    And my poor bookshelf was so crowded. There was no room for new books! Perish the thought! So, I reorganized it this weekend. Now I have space for many more lovely books. Which is always a good thing. ;)

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