Friday, September 10, 2010

Give Some of Your Time: A Win/Win Situation

This weekend, starting today actually, I'll be busy with two different volunteer groups. I'll be working one event for about 12 hours today and then divide my time between the two groups tomorrow for a total of another 9+ hours and then spend another 8 hours on Sunday. I'm expecting to be tired by Sunday evening.

Why do it at all? First of all, because doing these events give something to my community. These groups are shorthanded and have a lot to do so they need people like me.

Second, I enjoy what I do for them. I will have fun during these three days, although there will also be tedium, hard work, and (in past years when the weather was hotter for this weekend event) miserably hot. (I'm glad it is supposed to be reasonably cool this weekend which will make it easier).

Third, I gain experience at these events which might help me in my job hunt. By participating in these groups, I can talk about how I have worked in an educational environment (running school tours today) or in publicity (I'm both groups' publicity person).

It is really a win/win situation when volunteering. I also get to know a lot of great people. Yes, sometimes I meet some annoying people or get frustrated by internal politics which sometimes go on in groups like these. I suppose that I learn a lesson about getting along with people too. That can't be a bad thing to learn either, so maybe even that is a win for me.

Don't think that you don't have time. Many of my groups are able to use even just a few hours a month. They just need someone to be reliable and show up each time. Heck, in one group we do an event every other month and if I could just count on someone to show up at that event to help set up chairs, it would be a huge bonus for the group.

Don't you have a little time every month or so to give to a community group? Think of the benefits--for yourself and others.

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