A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Volunteering Update

I thought I'd post some stats to keep me accountable.  After we made the decision to send all the kids to school this year, I decided to start volunteering to find positive ways to use my new free time.

May - 6.5 hours, 3 organizations
June - 3.75 hours, 1 organization
July - 14.5 hours, 2 organizations
August - 15.5 hours, 3 organizations
September (so far) - 3 hours, 1 organization

So I've now hit the dubious milestone of 40+ hours, which most people work in a single week (or overachievers like my husband do in a mere 2 days).  It took me 15 weeks and a day.

I've volunteered with 5 organizations so far, with another on the horizon.

Don't let the look on his face fool you.  He's been saying for a while he was going to come in and donate blood and flirt with the snack lady at BloodSource.  It's the camera he's not crazy about.  Or maybe the fact that the guy sticking the needle in his arm jumped when I said, "Smile!"

Brianna is coming in to donate during a shift I'm serving in September.  And since Eli just had a birthday, he's now old enough to donate, too, although I don't know if he's interested or not.

In addition to the SPCA, I went to volunteer orientation for another animal related organization, and I'm excited to get involved there, as well.

I'm finding that I'm not as available as I thought I would be.  The school pickup seems to cut into things I am interested in doing.  Temps here have been really hot, and I got an email about helping staff a cooling center (basically, passing out water and snacks to people who are coming in to get out of the heat).  I would love to help out, but the hours are 1-4, and I have kids to pick up during that time.  But I'm sure I'll figure out things I can do with my new schedule.

This not terribly flattering shot of me was taken by Eli while we were volunteering together at a weekend tree mulching event with Sacramento Tree Foundation.  He's gone with me twice now, and I really enjoy doing these outdoorsy events with him.  He's a good worker with a good attitude.  He gets community service hours for school.  I get someone to remind me to bring home my water bottle.

In summary, I'm enjoying trying out a variety of ways to help our community, but I haven't hit that perfect-for-me niche yet.  Maybe that's not even a realistic goal; I don't know.  It does seem a little weird to me that in the first week of all the children being in school, I spent absolutely none of those school hours volunteering.  Although I put in a couple hours last weekend, and plan to get more hours in this weekend--that wasn't the point.  The point was for me to find some way to help out while the kids were in school.

I read something a while back that I've sort of adopted as my personal motto, and it fits here.
"In the end, I'd like to be someone who has given more than they've taken."
As a mom to little kids, there were so many times when I wished I could do more, help more, but I was too busy parenting/had no childcare.  Although I don't regret an instant of the time I spent with my kids, it feels good to be able to start to give back a little.

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  1. I volunteer with a couple of different organizations. I work with the trumpet students (and some other brass students) that are in the local homeschool concert band. I also volunteer at an animal shelter. They need people to come in and walk the dogs, play with the dogs, post pictures and cute facts about them on facebook, etc. Every dog we have volunteered with has been adopted. I agree when you find your specialty you will know it.

    1. That's great! I'm not a dog person, so I've been working the cat side of our local SPCA, and it's very rewarding. I have a shift today, actually. As I try out different tasks, I'm finding that I like working in the spay and neuter clinic the best so far. Kitties in recovery are a hoot.

  2. With an infant at home and working full time, I'm currently on a break. But I hope to get back to more volunteer work soon. My favorite activity was weekly tutoring for refugees and immigrants learning English. I also did event based volunteering for Girl Scouts and the occasional stint with habitat for humanity. Right now my only activity is as a member of the cut stormwater commission.

    1. A friend of mine built a Habitat house! I went and helped one day, and it was a neat experience. I should check into that here. Thanks for the reminder. Might even be something I could get my boys interested in.

      Having a baby at home gives you an automatic 5 year pass. ;) Or in my case, a quarter century pass, yikes.

  3. What great volunteer opportunities you are finding.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. I'm just so crazy excited to be able to get out and do new and interesting things! And to be able to pick stuff that interests me? That's even more awesome. I'm going to check out the sorting room at the Friends of the Library warehouse soon, because BOOKS! <3