PDA

View Full Version : Making a Bigger Contribution?



fidgiegirl
8-9-11, 1:52pm
I am really moved by my life lately. Like, it is wonderful. I'm not trying to brag here. I really am so happy about so very many aspects of my life right now. We are truly, truly blessed in so many areas of life.

The reason I know I'm lucky is because I keep my eyes open to the suffering all around me - emotional, financial, relationships, physical . . . and I for about at least the last 9 months have felt an increasingly strong call to take action to make this world better. Basically, to do what I can to make life better for others.

Writing checks ain't doin' it for me. We give money, though I'm sure we could give more. I want to engage. But it's a very nebulous feeling/calling so far. I keep kind of wondering if the skies will part and sunbeam will shine down on what I'm meant to do to make this world better, but so far it hasn't . . .

Often the discussions on this board get me thinking about all the possibilities for being with others, truly engaging . . . the adoption thread in particular, or creating community in our neighborhoods, etc.

Very vague, I know. Any thoughts? Anyone had a similar experience?

Madsen
8-9-11, 2:39pm
Have you done some lite volunteer work just to test the waters?

fidgiegirl
8-9-11, 3:31pm
Over the years, yes. I've been involved in Girl Scouting for a lot of years, and will continue to be. But the volunteer structure that exists isn't quite right for me, and I am kind of peripherally involved in helping make changes to that, but it will take a while. Apart from that, not too much. I did work with a jobs organization once but felt I was making no difference whatsoever so resigned that volunteer post. I am drawn to joining a church community but more for the service aspect than the worship aspect, so that doesn't quite feel right. Of course, people's needs and problems are messy and require sacrifice and hard work. In the past I've always sought the "perfect" volunteer opportunity but it doesn't feel like enough.

ApatheticNoMore
8-9-11, 5:23pm
I sent you a private message. Hopefully this software actually works and you get it :). Of course if what you really want is to have or adopt kids or change to a whole new career (things which are MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR life changes!!! :)), it won't be enough. But I LOVE the community things I am involved with locally.

creaker
8-9-11, 7:03pm
My volunteering over the past 3 years has been primarily through Boston Cares (a kind of volunteer clearinghouse) and a volunteer Meetup group as well as other one-time opportunities. I've gotten to try many different things that way without huge commitments.

Rosemary
8-9-11, 8:59pm
There are SO many opportunities for volunteers in our area! If you can narrow down the population with which you'd like to work, I might be able to point you to someone. We know people who are very involved in social action in Mpls/St Paul, and our church has done many projects.

Since you're a teacher, one possibility might be creating a social action group at your school! In this way you would not only contribute yourself, but also encourage teens to contribute now and in their future lives.

The youth at our church volunteer at a homeless shelter, which really opens their eyes, and also at a shelter for battered women, where many kids live temporarily also. I think it makes a huge difference to kids to see these conditions and to make a contribution of time and caring.

Rosemary
8-9-11, 9:00pm
By the way, Fidgiegirl - welcome back! Hope you had an excellent trip!

fidgiegirl
8-9-11, 9:47pm
Rosemary, thank you for the offer of a connection and for the warm welcome! I will keep it in mind as this whole thing takes shape in my thinking.

razz
8-10-11, 1:01pm
Our local senior service program has a once a day phone call service. This is used by older people or those who are vulnerable and on their own. It is a simple 'hello, how are you today' to give people a daily checkup that is often requested by families who have older single people who live some distance from them. Some small chats may take place as the volunteer and recipient get to know each other.
If there is no reply with several attempts in the day, the single person is physically visited by a volunteer. It is rarely abused and those singles will wait for the phone call before going out or will phone ahead to say that they have an early appointment so won't be in.
This is a lowkey service that makes an enormous difference for both the volunteer and those s/he helps.

fidgiegirl
9-8-11, 11:47pm
I volunteered tonight picking fruit. The idea is that when people have a fruit tree, volunteers go and pick the fruit so it can go to a food shelf instead of to the ground to rot. I was somewhat disappointed in that the pears were "scabby," the coordinator-dude kept saying, and so they looked like they were no good, even though they were. I can't help but think that this will mean that they will sit on the shelf at the food shelf and not be taken anyway. They would be good for sauce so I hope that at least someone who is accessing the food shelf will have a stove, time, pots, containers, etc. in order to actually make and store sauce made from them. At any rate, even if none of the fruits are used by food shelf patrons (and I'll never know either way), at least we could help a 70-something year old lady clean up the millions of pears in her yard, and she will still have enough to do her own sauce for Hanukkah once the ones fall that we couldn't reach with the pickers. So it was worthwhile and I feel satisfied. I also learned some things about fruit and benefited from the gift of herbs as well as lots of good food for my backyard compost bin (ruined pears) :)

iris lily
9-9-11, 1:04am
I am really moved by my life lately. Like, it is wonderful. I'm not trying to brag here. I really am so happy about so very many aspects of my life right now. We are truly, truly blessed in so many areas of life.

The reason I know I'm lucky is because I keep my eyes open to the suffering all around me - emotional, financial, relationships, physical . . . and I for about at least the last 9 months have felt an increasingly strong call to take action to make this world better. Basically, to do what I can to make life better for others.

Writing checks ain't doin' it for me. We give money, though I'm sure we could give more. I want to engage. But it's a very nebulous feeling/calling so far. I keep kind of wondering if the skies will part and sunbeam will shine down on what I'm meant to do to make this world better, but so far it hasn't . . .

Often the discussions on this board get me thinking about all the possibilities for being with others, truly engaging . . . the adoption thread in particular, or creating community in our neighborhoods, etc.

Very vague, I know. Any thoughts? Anyone had a similar experience?

It sounds like you are in an exciting place in life. Ready to jump off and DO something.What's your passion? Really, what is it that keeps drawing your attention? What is the thing, or the multiple things, that define your interests, that have always captured your attention from the time you were a kid until now?

Kids? Animals? architecture? health and wellness?

It's so great that you've got resources to share, and I guarantee that a group would just LOVE to have you involved.

I've heard of that fruit and vegetable picking organization, a great idea.