As long as I can remember, I have always volunteered in some capacity. As a kid, I visited seniors in a local seniors care facility. As a teenager, I coached little kid soccer. As a university student, I tutored elementary school children and volunteered on my university students association. As an adult, I’ve volunteered at many meal services for the less fortunate, I’ve coached little kid soccer and I’ve spent a day with elementary students who were learning about my chosen profession. I’ve also volunteered countless hours in many different capacities within professional organizations.
But, a few years ago I basically stopped all my volunteer activities. In fact, I did this right around the time Little MPB was born. It was a very conscious decision to limit my time away from my son. In the case of community volunteer roles I simply stopped planning new ones. In the case of professional volunteer roles, effective a few weeks before Little MPB was born, I rolled back my involvement and officially resigned from a professional board when my term was up a few months later – all those on the board knew why I was resigning and everyone was very supportive.
This means the last 2 years is the first time in my life that I have not been involved in some sort of volunteer role or two or three.
Honestly, I’ve been feeling the itch to get back involved. I’ve been missing being involved in my community and offering a small helping hand to those who need it or to enable a professional organization to make a difference.
So, I’ve been keeping an eye open for a new volunteer role. And eventually one was suggested to me. Initially, i just said no without any additional thought. But, then a few months later, it was brought up again. So the second time I took a few months to make an informed decision by investigating the organization and evaluating the time commitment.
Of course, I said yes and effectively agreed to do one more thing with my very limited spare time.
But, there’s a huge caveat with this volunteer role – it is very limited. I may volunteer for 3 hours one month, and none the next. I completely choose my own schedule and can turn down anything that doesn’t fit my schedule. And, there is no long term commitment, I can quit at any time that I choose without causing significant problems for the organization as the organization is built using volunteers like me, who only want to give up little snippets of their time.
And so, more then anything, I hope this role allows me to give back to my community in a meaningful way. My heart and soul could use some warm fuzzies.
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