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.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Finding My Niche as a Volunteer

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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