4.14.2013

Choosing Where to Volunteer

Many folks grow up in a social environment where volunteering is second nature. I am one of the outliers.  Whenever I came up with a social club or volunteering opportunity, my mom shot me down due to to financial, time, and transportation limitations.

As a small child in Mexico, my mom sometimes took me to visit the local orphanage where we donated humongous tins of hot chocolate mix and sometimes some apparel basics so that girls who had their birthdays during that month could enjoy a special treat.

In high school, our French club often visited the nearby old people's home. Those visits depressed me. I was reminded of my two grandmas who lived far away in Italy. I also felt horrible for those perfectly lovely old people who were "dumped" in the old people's home by their families.

In college I commuted three out of the four years. When I did live on campus, my dorm was in a far side corner and the bus always ran late. My main objectives in college were to get my double major within budget and on time, but it sure didn't prevent me from making puppy eyes at committee and club flyers on bulletin boards: the LGBTQ committee, the American Indian Pow-Wow group, the Anime fans, the Film Society, the Student Society, and many others. I actually ended up hating the honors society I did end up joining the last semester I was there! It had zero activities. Go figure.

Fast forward to now. I've been looking for volunteer opportunities for a while. I like to think I have good organizational skills, can lend a ready hand for elbow grease or thinking cap situations, and I typically like to help other people set up for events and programs. So technically, it shouldn't be such a big deal as I'm making it out to be.

I joined a church for the first time ever early last year where folks are into social justice and volunteering--so the pressure has been on! I've volunteered a couple of times at church but in regards to picking other side projects to volunteer for, I'm suffering from option overload. Indecisiveness central.

Recently, I received an email requesting volunteers to serve during an environmental/nutrition fair, so I jumped on it. The best part was that I got picked! Yey me! I'll be volunteering on Sunday, May 5 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Green Earth Institute's annual Green Earth Fair in Naperville, Illinois.

The Green Earth Institute is a nonprofit organization founded with the intent to promote nutritional health and environmental sustainability. I can't think of anything that could resonate more with me, except maybe a pet rescue!

I'm inviting everyone I know to attend and/or volunteer at the fair. You can learn more about the events scheduled for that day by checking out the Green Earth Fair website. Contact me at jeda21 -at-  gmail -dot- com if you're interested in volunteering.