I started volunteering in May, and my grand total for 2017 was 180 hours for 9 organizations. I mentioned in a prior post that I hadn't really figured out what I loved to do yet. Over the last 4 months, I've settled into a routine.
First, some 2017 stats:
BloodSource - 29.25 hours
Book Den - 21 hours
Library - 7.5 hours
Zoo - 20.5 hours
SPCA - 85.83 hours
Sac Tree - 8.25 (Although they sent me a letter, thanking me for my 11 hours of service, so I may not have written down a day. Either that, or they're really generous with hours.)
I also put in a couple hours making giant poster board letters for the Christmas parade float for the younger kids' school. Then there was the time I took Jack and Hannah to pack meals for FMSC. And I don't count hours for these, but I donated 3 blankets to Project Linus in 2017.
Now that I've been at it a while, I spend one day a week at SPCA, helping out with the vaccine clinic. This is like the DMV for dogs. Wait over here, pay, then wait over there. I like to get there a little early so I can still get some cat petting time in before hand.
I also spend a couple of days per month helping out with SPCA's feral cat spay and neuter clinic. Because let's face it: cats on drugs are hilarious.
Our local Friends of the Library is part of Book First, a way to get books into the hands of underprivileged first graders. I spent a day helping to assemble bags of books to take into the classrooms, and I've gotten to go to one of the distribution days so far. I'm scheduled for a few more of those, which should be fun.
I've been spending one morning a week washing the toys at my library branch. It's not my favorite thing to do, but it needs doing, and it gets me into the library once a week. I usually bring home a bag of books for the kids after I'm done.
I spend one day a week at the Book Den, run by Friends of the Library. I started out doing "first sort" and now I maintain the $1 fiction section in the store and help shelve fiction out in the warehouse. My problem is that I find all these books I want to read! I've been reading a ton lately, and my "to read" pile just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I have donated a lot of books, though, so at least I'm getting some turnover in our personal library.
Volunteering has been a great experience for me. It gets me out of the house. I'm meeting new people and learning new things. I feel like I'm "giving back" for all the years when I couldn't do anything because I had lots of little ones at home. (Not that I wouldn't drop 75% of my commitments like a hot potato if the chance to have a little one in the house came up!)
I may go "on leave" from a couple organizations during the summer so I can focus on the kids. I'm really looking forward to them being out of school! Although I've enjoyed the quiet house, I do miss them while they're gone.
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