Post # 1
It’s looking like I am going to be out of a job in the next few weeks … and I’m already thinking about how to keep myself busy while searching for a new one. I know that I’ll need to focus on finding a job, but one can only do that for so many hours in a day. I was thinking about volunteering — but I wasn’t sure where or what to do. In the past I have done some work at an after school program as well as at a food bank … I’m leaning more towards doing something with kids.
Do you volunteer? What do you do? Do you enjoy it? Have you ever had a bad experience volunteering?
Post # 3
We volunteered back in college. In order for me to do so now, I’d have to have time and feel very strongly about something. I frankly don’t have time. I choose to write a check nowadays, and I wish I could block off a Saturday but I simply can’t. I also make it a point to get my car washed by people doing fundraisers for various causes, etc.
I had lots of fun doing it back in college. We raised enough money as a sorority to sponsor two children and their families for Make a Wish. My DH’s house supported MDA and we always made a point of attending the BBQ’s and buying the food (even if we didn’t like it) just b/c we felt it was right.
Post # 4
The food bank and meals on wheels are the two major programs in my area which are always in need of some help. If you want to work with kids, then try going to some local schools in the area and ask whether or not they need volunteers for special programs.
Back in high school I used to be a volunteering machine, and it is very rewarding and satisfying. I always left with a smile on my face knowing that I had helped someone out that day. On the flip side, there will be times when you volunteer and instructions may not be so clear on what you are supposed to do. It just requires being persistent and asking questions to clarify.
Post # 5
I volunteer for specific events that the American Cancer Society hosts, but my work-travel schedule doesn’t allow me to have an on-going commitment. Once I’m no longer traveling, I’d love to volunteer for the local hospice. A few years ago, my mom had terminal cancer and we used at-home hospice care for a several months until she passed away. It was a tremendous service. In addition to the paid staff (doctors, nurses, etc.), there were hospice volunteers that changed my life. I can see how it wouldn’t be for everybody (it’s a little intense), but volunteers would schedule a time to drop by the house to visit with or read to my mom. My mom loved getting to see new faces since she was stuck at home, and my dad and I appreciated having a little time away from things to process everything. Our family was in such a vulnerable state, but the kindness and support of those people helped us all feel less alone. Wow, I’m getting weepy just typing this!
Post # 6
I volunteer about 5 hours a week at our local library. I do things like shelve books, check people out, and help people find books/use the referrence system. This is a recent thing; a friend of a WB friend suggested that if I want to be a libararian, I should volunteer to build up my experience. 🙂 I’ve been doing it for a few weeks, and I really have a good time doing it! Maybe you could help your library with kids’ events or volunteer in the children’s section (or children’s library if your system is big enough)? Libraries are really suffering from county, city, and state budget cuts and need more volunteers than ever to stay open.
Also, one of our friends is SUPER involved in the community, so we end up helping her out with projects sometimes. This year, we’ve helped out with a couple "clean up the lake" efforts, making a community garden, and an Earth Day celebration.
Post # 7
I volunteer through the Jr. League. We deal mainly with women and children’s charities. It’s good, though sometimes it feels a bit like a sorority.
Post # 8
Forgot I posted this one!
Thanks for the responses ladies.
I think the library would be an awesome place to volunteer because I love books and I always end up buying them instead of just borrowing! If I’m already there doing some volunteering then I can get some books or even DVDs!
I don’t think I’m "strong" enough to do hospice care, but perhaps in the background doing paperwork or stuff, I’m sure that could be helpful!
I also have been thinking that I might want to work doing non-profit in the future … so this could be helfpul in getting a full time paying job with a non-profit as well!
Post # 9
I volunteer at the local community theater. They are always in need of ushers, people who can lend a hand with sewing costumes or painting sets. I also volunteer on a scholarship committee. I’m the chair of the dance that raises 60,000 a year. Talk about pressure! LOL. And then we help at the church when we can. I enjoy volunteering but I’ve become strecthed a little to thin and pland to resign from chairman of the dance and just help when needed.
There is a charity group on Facebook that you can join that informs you of upcoming events in your area that need volunteers. Sorry I can’t remember the name but I’m sure you could do a search for it.
Post # 10
I’m currently on the development board of a local childrens center/school for kids with autism, Aspergers and behavioral disorders. Board responsibilities are mostly fund-raising and event planning, but I do get to help out at the school a lot too. I read to the kids a couple times a year, attend their programs, musicals and pagents, serve them lunch on their "special dress-up day" and help teach table manners, and even just hang-out at the residence and watch TV with them. I know the fund-raising stuff is what helps make the place run, but spending time with those kids makes me realize why I’m doing it (and helps me not feel so bad about begging my friends and co-workers to donate)!
Post # 11
yes i love to stay active and doing good deeds; I get perks withthem too sometimes
yes I volunteer at the theater–to watch off broadway for free
I used to volunteer for meals on wheels–except I got a backache
I did dress for success, nice people
NYC marathon they hosted a party which was very nice- got free raincoats
volunteered at charity events for breast cancer–get to watch fashion shows
another charity event–got to watch another fashion show
another chairty event for muscular dystrophy–got to see NFL football players
lots of fun, you do good and sometimes get some perks
Post # 12
I volunteer in the Mpls public schools for their adult ELL program, basically helping new immigrants with their English. I looooove it. During the school year I went one night a week, but now since it’s summer there’s no class.
Post # 13
What about the children’s hospital? I used to volunteer in the neonatal intensive care units. That, of course, is not for everyone…I didn’t mind b/c my mom is a neonatalogist so I think it’s hopeful to see premature babies getting a chance. But I do know that the hospital also had tons of volunteers to read and play with older kids in long term care. There’s also the Ronald McDonald House where one of my college roommates really enjoyed volunteering. You might also consider the Make a Wish foundation…though wish-granting is fairly competitive. I was selected as a wish granter, but over 3 years I was never high enough on the list to actually get called to grant one. They often need help in the office etc though. Have you considered Big Brothers and Big Sisters? That’s a great program and an opportunity to have a big impact on one person…and form a lasting bond that will possibly teach you more than you expect.
Post # 14
The thing about volunteering for me is that I definitely want to do it while I am out of work … but it is going to be hard for me to commit to something because I don’t know what my next job will be.
I would LOVE to volunteer at Children’s Hospital but the Boston one is seriously SO competitive to become a volunteer for! My sister was a patient there as a child and she wasn’t even accepted to be a volunteer! it’s crazy, but I understand because it is really a wonderful place to be if you have to be in a children’s hospital.
I think something like a library or a food bank might be best since I’ll have the time while I am out of work, but most likely not once I get a new job.
Post # 15
My political group I’m a member of (yes, we’re conservative) have volunteered in the past for habitat for humanity, and a number of local charities. Right now we’re helping some new local public schools bring in books to populate the school’s libarary.
I feel as though with my job I volunteer a bit each day..but can tell you that a hospital volunteer is ALWAYS needed. I have in the past (during college) volunteered at a local children’s hospital and loved it!
Also check out and see if you have a local TWIGS chapter that’s associated with your area’s children’s hospital. I used to be an officer of my group in TN and we also put together the festival of trees and a 10 day event which was during the holidays and it was a blast and we raised a ton of $$ to help our children’s hospital. We raised so much we bought a brand new ultrasound 3d machine!
Post # 16
I volunteer at a local science museum two Saturdays a month. It is fun! I greet visitors when they come in, help them orient themselves and plan their day, tell them what the different planetarium & theater shows are, and just generally be there when visitors have questions.