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#34262 - 01/31/03 07:33 PM Volunteering!
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
I debated between posting this is the professional forum or full time homemakers. I chose this one mainly because the other had a good topic going about starting over and I wanted to keep that moving. However, I also know that many full time homemakers are expected to do lots of volunteer work because we don't work! Ha!

I know many of the women in our community have done and are doing our share of volunteering. You name it, church, school, neighborhood, rec sports, and the list goes on.

I want to know what is happening in your volunteer circles.

I think we are running into a problem because so much is expected from volunteers, but many women work full or part time. This is a change from the good old days when moms stayed home.

Now when women who work volunteer, they come home, do the mom and husband thing, squeeze in some volunteer work, and are EXHAUSTED with no time for self! Then we really aren't much help to anyone!

I have noticed that some churches are hiring people to do what volunteers did in the past.

Any thoughts?

#34263 - 02/01/03 08:47 AM Re: Volunteering!
Candice Johnson Offline

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 416
Loc: Alexandria, VA
The organization I work for adopted a local school. Our executive director gives each of us an hour each week to go. Even with that, we only have about 1/4 of our staff going over there.

The reason I continue with it is because everyone at the school is incredibly appreciative. The teacher my boy has always has him write notes for me. The teacher gives me something for Chirstmas, my birthday, and National Volunteeer Appreciation Week. She invites me to dinner sometimes. She also nominated me for the Making a Difference Award, which I ended up receiving.

I also stick around with it because I see the results. When I first started working with Victor, he came to this country one month before, he knew no English, his Dad and him lived in one room of a townhouse with two other families and they had nothing. He was scared, shy, distraught about leaving his Mom and brothers and sisters in El Salvador. In almost three years, he has come such a long way. Him and his father. Knowing how much they needed, I had to step in for more than just one hour a week. I helped his father find a job and insurance, got Victor on a soccer team to boost his self-esteem and to get him in with a group of kids. The soccer thing has meant I have turned into a soccer mom a few weekends a month (his teacher and I switch off).

I know that even if I had kids, I would still do everything I do for him. Not because the school makes me feel so special, but because I know that I make a difference for this kid. It is so much fun to watch him succeed little by little. His mom was here for a short visit over the holidays and she cried when we met because she wanted to thank me for taking care of her boy while she is so far away. She had me crying.

I know that volunteering takes a lot of time and personal involvement, but it is so important. I can't imagine being as privledged as I am and not giving something back.

As far as having kids of your own, have them volunteer with you. It would be a great way to spend time with your children and a great lesson on civic and social responsibility for them to learn.

#34264 - 02/07/03 07:21 PM Re: Volunteering!
countrygirl51 Offline

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 221
Loc: Clifton, Ks. USA
Candice, you have earned a gold star in Heaven for your efforts with Victor! God bless you for helping that poor family.
Volunteer work can be very rewarding, and fun. In our small town, we have found it difficult to keep some of our civic organizations viable because of time limitations imposed by careers. I am currently serving as President of our local art club, a position I held last year and would just as soon have given up this year, but there is no one else in our tiny club capable of doing it right now, due to health problems in some of the members. So I agreed to do it again this year. Next year, they will have to find someone else to be president, because I will be in school for nine months and unable to attend meetings.
I find volunteer work very rewarding. Not financially--in fact, it can become expensive if you "adopt" a cause or family. But the emotional rewards and self satisfaction rewards are astronomical. Giving is much more fun than receiving, if it is done with the right spirit.
Before I began working fulltime and while I was a fulltime homemaker, I was involved in 3 or 4 civic organizations locally, and held an office in each one. I enjoyed it immensely.
I called it "soul work."

#34265 - 02/13/03 10:38 PM Re: Volunteering!
Candice Johnson Offline

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 416
Loc: Alexandria, VA
Thanks for your kind words countrygirl. I agree with you 100% about the committment it takes, finacially, emotionally, and time-wise. People at work laugh at me when I get outraged that soccer shorts and a jersey for a small child cost $60.
But I wouldn't trade getting to see him have a good time and write essays about soccer and how much he likes it when he's in school.

I also feel for you in your situtaion with the club. Once you get involved, it is hard to say no. You basically have to think about what is best for you too. Last year, I took on two more kids at the school and I had to limit myslef just to the one boy this year. It got to be too much with three kids and I was stretched too far.

It is hard sometimes to find that balance between doing too little and doing too much. Remember that if you don't feel good about what you're doing anymore, how does that make the people feel around you feel? Good luck with finding a replacement.

[ February 13, 2003, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: Candice Johnson ]

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