Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Volunteers

This is National Volunteer Week.  I know this because I received a letter in the mail from the hospital where I volunteer thanking me for my service.  They also sent a gift card.  Yesterday, when I went into the pastry kitchen for my shift, I received another 'Thank You'.  And another gift card. 

Now, I should be thanking them.  I get out of the house.  I learn new stuff and meet new people.  I never dread having to go there, unlike my former job where I dreaded every Monday night for 20 years.  (Why are administrators also legislators in local government?)

Tomorrow I will be a volunteer at the Library bookstore.  Another three hours where I get to meet people and read books.

Several years ago I received a Volunteer Service Award.  It was primarily for my continuing work with the Boy Scouts and my local church along with all the commitees I had been on over the years.

I've been volunteering ever since I can remember.  I only have one rule that must be followed:  If I am volunteering or on a committee it must have a purpose, goals and an eventual outcome that is important.

Back in the late 1980's, I was on a committee that was going to set up a Senior Continuing Residency Organization.  We worked hard to get all of our paperwork in order, set up a plan of action, identify funding sources and obstacles to seniors and then....  Well, when we were done setting it up, the by-laws said that a new committee would be appointed by the current Township Supervisor.  That happened.  The people appointed got to fighting amongst themselves.  The committee disbanded.  The idea died with the committee.  Yes, it was all about politics.  I vowed not to make that mistake again.

But, ten years later, I found myself on a newly formed Arts Foundation, and the same thing happened.  You would think I had learned my lesson.

Hey folks.  Every minute I spend on a non-paying project that is meaningless, is one more minute that I lose napping.  It is no wonder that I am always running into the same people volunteering their time.  I guess the others have just figured out that too often it may not be worth their time.

That being said, I am a pretty content volunteer.  But saying 'Thank You' is appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Denise... I agree with you completely. There is a rich, rewarding life in retirement. Upon retirement, my wife and I moved to South America to do volunteer work in a poor community in the Peruvian Andes. We formed deep, on-going relationships with a number of Peruvians. Upon returning to the United States, we developed a volunteer program to teach English to Hispanic adults in our community. We find our volunteer work very rewarding. Bill

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