Weekend Question Thread

Because I’m spending all this weekend and most of next week/end on a major volunteer effort, and because I know you’re all do-gooder liberal elites:

Do you do any volunteer work? If so, what?

A.

9 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. mellowjohn says:

    i teach in the chicago public schools, which – if rahm and his rubber stamps on the board and in the media have their way – will soon be classified as “volunteer work.”

  2. Beauzeaux says:

    I’m a hospice volunteer. I enjoy it very much.
    Here in Canada — especially in the smaller towns — volunteerism is alive and active. I live in a community of less than 2000 in the winter and 3000 in the summer. We have a music society that stages a Chamber Music Festival in August that always sells out. There’s also a blues festival and jazz festival. We built a medical clinic and paid off the mortgage. Our Coast Guard auxiliary is without peer. You name a cause and we’ll have an active group in support of it.
    It’s quite a stimulating environment for an area rapidly tipping older. Of course, retirees are the backbone of most volunteer groups because they’re no longer hindered by the demands of a job and/or young children.

  3. terry says:

    Local food pantry, local blues festival.

  4. NTodd says:

    Hey, I think we’ve had this question before!
    I volunteer at a Community Justice Center, serving on a Reparative Probation Board and working on a restorative re-entry program. I’m also continuing to publish our community newsletter on a vol basis, even though I’m now an elected town official (which is almost volunteer itself, but I get a little stipend at the end of the year).

  5. left rev., proud cheesehead says:

    volunteer chaplain at the nursing homes (on my time-church doesn’t pay me for that); food pantry, local library, parent aid at elementary school (to be honest-the last three do tie in closely with my professional obligations as a local pastor to be involved in the community outside of the church), phonebanking for RECALL efforts, do some writing for an anti-bullying taskforce, ummm…
    that’s pretty much it. In my line of work, its kind of hard to know where the paid professional clergy ends and the volunteer begins, since its all aspects of the same impulse.

  6. Lex says:

    At the moment, no, what with work, grad school and single parenthood sucking up all my time.
    In the past: a variety of things at my church, ranging from keeping nursery on Sunday mornings to co-chairing pastoral care committee; served on and led an AIDS patient care team in the mid-1990s, when services locally were a shred of what they are now; coached a soccer team of 5-year-old boys; ran my kid’s school’s website for a bit; edited a book on electronic voting.
    And I give blood regularly, which makes me part of a small minority of healthy adults who do, sadly.

  7. RAM says:

    I’m the volunteer director of our local historical museum and am on the board of our local historical society. I figure it’s my job to save what history I can before it’s all thrown in Dumpsters by the children of deceased long-time residents or paved over by developers.

  8. MichaelF says:

    To be honest, nothing right now, though I try to make up for inaction with as-generous-as-I-can-afford donations to various causes around here.

  9. Volunteering was a big part of my growing up. Parents always really pushed us to be involved in something. I think the very first volunteer gig I had was at a tiny little no-kill cat shelter when I was around 12. It was run by a little old lady.
    So I’ve always done stuff. In Nashville I’ve focused mostly on working with our homeless and stuff at the state women’s prison. Led a book club at the women’s prison for a couple of years and was also part of this program teaching decision-making skills. The book club was an offshoot of that.
    I’m not really doing much political volunteering anymore. I was a precinct captain in 2004, coordinated voter registration drives, and I was a poll watcher for Obama. The kicker was that I was really involved in the Harold Ford Jr. Senate campaign, did a lot of fundraising and stuff and if that won’t burn you out, nothing will. I mean, Harold Ford Jr. Jesus. He’d be better than Bob Corker ended up being but still. Had he won he’d probably be a Joe Manchin-type, always trying to prove how un-liberal he is to no avail. That was just a bridge too far for me. I’m a pragmatist and I know this is Tennessee and all but even I couldn’t stand the stench of merde wafting off that campaign.
    When I was active in church I did a ton of stuff, coordinated our Room In The Inn program which fed and housed 24 homeless people every winter, and coordinated our congregation’s monthly letter writing campaigns. We wrote the mayor about funding for low-income housing, wrote the CEO of Burger King to get more pay for their tomato pickers, wrote local business owners about the need for a living wage, etc. We were very successful. Hey, Burger King caved .. eventually. And also we gave about $30,000 in grants to local non-profits, so I was involved in that.
    It was a shit ton of work for a lot of years and I just got way burned out so I’m on hiatus now. But I thought of maybe stepping back into it, maybe volunteering as a reading tutor for a local literacy group.
    Volunteering is like cat adoption. Once you start it’s hard to say no to more. I really need to be selfish and focus on my writing.

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