I’m actually not here when you’re reading this; I’m off volunteering with one of the many organizations in the area that are in need of volunteers. I don’t know what I’m going to do today, but it could be any number of tasks in the office.
The story of getting to this point, however, is one that has been long in the making. It was first recommended to me to volunteer back in November. I looked at a couple of opportunities, but didn’t pursue any of them – I made excuses as to why I didn’t do it, but the most reasonable explanation is that I wasn’t ready to commit to something new.
Then we get to July, eight months having passed and I’m still in my comfort zone. If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know the full history, so I’ll just focus on my volunteering.
I was looking around for opportunities in an area that would be easy for me to get to without inconveniencing my mother, and without having to pay for transportation to get there, because I’m cheap and all.
Searching the volunteering website for a neighboring county, I found an opportunity at an office that sounded interesting. I look at the address, put it into google maps and find out that it’s a very convenient spot – so convenient that I can walk there.
So, I emailed the person in charge of volunteering. A couple of days go by and I don’t hear anything, so I then call the office and leave a voicemail. Yet again, I don’t hear anything back, but that didn’t stop me.
I called yet again, and finally got through to the person in charge, told them who I was and that I was interested in volunteering. They led me through what I would be doing, that I’d have to fill in a form, and that I can bring it with me the first time I go to volunteer or that I can fill it out when I go for the first time. I decided that I’d fill in the form before I got there, so it was picked up for me.
Then, I picked a day to go volunteer (it was a Thursday the first time), called the office and confirmed that I’d be there from x to y time; this caused a bit of confusion with my mother who though that I was only going to go there and drop off the form, not actually put in a stint at volunteering. However, I explained how it worked and everything went well.
Thursday comes around, and I head down there, and walk into a meeting taking place in the lobby of the building. There’s no better way to introduce yourself to the office than by jumping in during a meeting which was just wrapping up. 🙂
Then, I was given the basics of what I’d have to do when I came in (signing in and out, etc) and given another form to sign which basically says that I will keep what I see to myself.
After that, I got the 5-cent tour of the offices and got to see all the amenities they have, including a full kitchen with stove. I then got to work with my assigned employee (who nicked me from another employee ;)).
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I have a tendency to be a bit of a pedant, so the job I got fitted perfectly with me. It was alphabetizing items and sorting ones of the same nature by date.
To a lot of people, this might seem like tedious work, but for me, it was quite enjoyable. The person I was working with thanked me about ten times for the work I was doing, and it made me feel pretty good. I have to say that the four hours flew by without me even noticing. Towards the end of my stint, I made the comment, which was agreed with, that by volunteering, I could turn it into a full-time job. 🙂
After I left and started walking over to the car, I was really beaming and feeling good for myself, and the first thing that I did was texted Snoskred and told her about what I did. Of course it was 6am down there, so I didn’t get a reply until she came around later in the day, but she was the one who kicked me into doing this, however, it had to come from me to make it work.
That happened, and it has worked out. Now, I’m going to try to set aside each Friday for volunteering there, all day. All it takes is to call ahead, or to tell them as I’m heading out of the office when I’ll be there next.
If you’ve volunteered, what has your experience been?