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Thread: How much do you volunteer? Where?

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    How much do you volunteer? Where?

    Since my life has regained a sense of normal again but in a new setting, I am reviewing my volunteer efforts. What is doable? desirable? too much? too little? How does one decide?

    Monthly - a members newsletter for the local art group; soup kitchen staff; water/fertilize library plants; arrange a light lunch for the horticultural society meetings.

    Weekly - mentor a very lively 6year at his school for an hour.

    What works for you?

  2. #2
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    not much. I've done stuff, helped to build up organizations and ideas etc. in the past, mostly when I had more time. Life feels chronically behind the 8 ball of too little time. It's what you do? OMG we are mostly all compulsive do-ers in a world without satiation at this point in time.

    But I would tend to group all pro-social actions into one category. Pro-social meaning for the larger community, not just one's loved ones and friends etc.. Taking things to be recycled or to electronic waste is a pro-social action, studying the ballot for a local election might be (I don't have much faith in non-local elections but that is another topic), picking up litter, handing out some money to a homeless person on the freeway offramp, maybe shopping somewhere that truly is socially responsible (not greenwashing, not PR, the real thing, and of course shopping one had to do anyway), protesting if one thinks it is good, etc..

    And I think at most a day a week to do things like this (a weekend day of course otherwise one is working, although maybe squeeze in a few of one's own chores that day too - we do live in the real world). And once in a while I think these actions should be not purely for what one cares about greatly (say for example the library is one's cause and what one is passionate about) but sometimes it shouldn't be about that, but pure altruism, purely because it's good.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #3
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    That sounds great, razz, and I'm sure you're much appreciated!! Right now my life is in too much turmoil to volunteer regularly. I do work with a small aircraft museum, and volunteer at some of their out-reach events, put together gift-baskets for their fund raising raffle, volunteer in the gift shop at most summer fly-in events, help with inventory - about 75 hours a year overall, but nothing I'm locked in to. Sometimes I volunteer at local EAA events also - again, not on a routine basis. I'd like to do a lot more - I'd love to be a docent at our art institute, and when I've ushered at local theater events in the past, I've really had a great time doing it. But right now, for me, what I'm doing is enough - it's working for me. It's enjoyable, and I'm helping an organization that's important to me. I think when people start resenting the time they are spending, they should stop and look at why they are doing it - perhaps they're in the "too much" phase.

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    ANM, that's an interesting perspective - the pro-social category. I've never thought of it that way. We recycle, and pick up recycling for several places that wouldn't do it otherwise. I teach social studies, so I'm very interested in local elections - it never occurred to me to think of that as a pro-social action, it's just something I've always done. Ditto with the giving out of money to homeless people. Food for thought...thanks!

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Awwww, razz, do you really want me to pontificate about this? Seems like that is all I do.

    today was typical:

    We ran over to our neighborhood's headquarters to move a bunch of boxes containing historical documents to a safer place. I am on the Historical Records Committee of our neighborhood Association. We have an important neighborhood here in the city and we have documents of its formation going back 40 years. My committee will formulate a plan for these documents.

    Two hours later, an adorable young couple knocked on our door. They are new neighbors! They brought a bottle of wine! I am the "block captain" here and am supposed to make contact with new people, tell them the scoop, invite them to the online discussion group and etc. They made my job so easy by introducing themselves, yay for them! Now I will add their contact info to lists, invite them to our online neighborhood, mentor them until they find their younger and more fun group.

    In the middle of the afternoon we went to a plant society meeting where I was elected President And DH was elected VP. We are taking on the leadership of this dying organization to nurse it through to the end of 2017 and then it will fold. Or
    I am out, whichever is first.

    We also reviewed with the show chairman our willingness to set up and tear down the World Daffodil Convention taking place in St. Louis April 6.

    We came home to emails that contained a batch of organizational documents from our community garden's committee to revamp leadership. DH is leading that effort, he wanted me to read the documents as a second set of eyes.

    We are off today from a volunteer effort we've been doing for 2+ weeks: the head of bulldog rescue was hit by a car. We are taking up some of the slack of her work and are visiting her daily, first in the hospital, now home where we take her meals.

    When I retired I knew I would not volunteer for any more organizations, but I knew that Id get involved at a much deeper and more detailed level with organizations for which I already volunteer. That has turned out to be true.

    here is the Tl; dr


    In summary, these are our volunteer efforts:

    our neighborhood 1) community garden 2) historical records committee 3) website development 4) block captain

    plant societies 1) lily society 2) daffodil society 3) iris society 4) National Garden Club design club and judges training

    bulldog rescue 1) board member 2) personal help for incapacitated President 3) clerical help national and local. 4) foster, mentor rescue dogs
    Last edited by iris lilies; 2-1-16 at 12:00pm.

  6. #6
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Yep, IL, I wanted to know and am glad that you shared your many efforts. I too like the pro-social category. That makes volunteering doable for most and manageable for those who are already committed.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Yep, IL, I wanted to know and am glad that you shared your many efforts. I too like the pro-social category. That makes volunteering doable for most and manageable for those who are already committed.
    It is a freaking wonder that anyone can read my posts, made with the stupid IPAD, handy but supportive of error.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    It is a freaking wonder that anyone can read my posts, made with the stupid IPAD, handy but supportive of error.
    IL.....I love my iPad.

    I used to volunteer. I visited people in crisis. Death in the family. Illnesses, often cancer. I mostly sat with them and listened. I found a time when my capacity to absorb the sadness became saturated. I began to be overwhelmed with the situations wishing I could heal them. I began to question why these things happened and I realized it was time to quit volunteering. I believe one can become over exposed to grief. So I make it a rule to truly volunteer.....not be solicited. I have learned how to say no.

  9. #9
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    In the last couple of years I have tried to volunteer...a lot of times it has worked out that I get as much out of it
    as I think I give. I drive but have chosen my volunteerism to be mostly in my neighbourhood because I think as you
    age or maybe it works for everyone to try to know you neighbourhood/neighbours. It has brought people into my life and new skills to be learned.
    ---Treasurer for my TOPS group--makes be at meetings every week to collect money but, also makes me go for myself. Bank Deposits and keeping of Records.
    ---City run seniors home..weekly afternoon in Tuck Shop...monthly meetings--at least once a month actively with residents--yearly a couple of fundraisers.
    This year I accepted the position of VP of the Auxiliary so a little more responsibility. They have volunteers that are there almost every day but, that would
    feel too much like a job to me and I don't want that.
    ---I have spent a lot of hours convincing city people to get and complete bike lanes.
    ---Support for Political candidates that are pro people and the environment.
    I love if I can think of things that work out for more then one thing.
    Book sale or clothing exchange at the TOPS group with what doesn't sell being donated to the Seniors home...win...win.

  10. #10
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    Like William I don't volunteer much. Working in a mental health court ordered inpatient setting - well that's about all the emotional reserve I've got to give.

    I do spend time a few days a week with my 3 grandkids. Their mom thinks I'm volunteering to help her. I think it's the best entertainment ever.

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