but I wanted to add an entry in my excitement about finding a second opportunity. The organization does very worthy work (delivering ready to eat meals to people with chronic, progressive illnesses) and has 2-hours shifts throughout the entire week (which means it is easily scheduled and committed to and ongoing, which were both really important to me).
I had orientation tonight, food safety next week, and then I start in February, every other week, plus any other shifts I am able to pick up as they need.
Finally, an opportunity that I can do long term, with flexibility. I am reading for a visually impaired women in a nearby city, once a week for about an hour, which is the perfect amount of time for me. She keeps stacks of church bulletins and letters, and I help sort out her mail.
I thought at first this didn’t match my interests that well, but I today I realized her frustration…to receive all this information that you just can’t consume without help. It would frustrate me to no end, a reader of books and a lover of all kinds of mail.
I still would like to do something else at some point…potentially at a transitional housing place in the future, but for now, I’m just glad to feel like I AM doing something to help someone out, especially to use a few hours of my day off (which feels indulgent, otherwise).
If it goes well and we make a regular schedule, I’ll share what it is and mark this off my list!
I just need to speak directly with the woman I’ll be working with…will either start mid December or after the holidays. I’ll either call her tomorrow or else next week after I’m back from vacation.
She was SO SWEET and so excited that I could commit…she is contacting the direct person I will be helping and will likely call me back tomorrow. I understand the need for background checks and bureaucracy and all that, but it’s just so much easier some times to have someone just be excited and say “let’s get this thing started!”
After months of just not having anything quite fit with my schedule or time commitment, I did poke around (again) and found something….I’m going to hold off saying more until I know if it works out or not, but it is ongoing (once a week) but a time frame I can certainly handle (1 hour or so). Not too far from my house, either. Got the first email back today and will put a follow up call in tomorrow.
In conjunction with “give more to charity,” this week I shopped for items needed by a homeless shelter/service. Rather than writing a check, I took time to pick out and package the items they needed to help place a homeless woman in affordable, permanent housing. They also have lots of volunteer opportunities, and even though it is not as close to my house as the other agency nearby, it may be a better fit for me. I also got approved to drop a few hours at work, so I’m hoping I can get a semi-regular schedule for an agency by the end of summer.
I emailed the agency it didn’t work out with before and am going to see if I can pick something up there, since it is so close to my home. Otherwise, i did find another homeless/relief shelter that I’m going to look into, trying to just be diligent about something at least twice a month. They have a shift every evening from 5:30 to 7:00 to get the shelter set up and ready, and you can kind of plan ahead and volunteer for certain nights. That actually seems like it would be a really good fit for me. Would love to finally accomplish this goal…
So where I wanted to volunteer might be a conflict of interest with my job. I’m still going to go to the training, but I need to pray about it more and decide if this is something that’s really right for me and worth bringing up to management, or if I should invest myself elsewhere.
I was feeling insecure about my skills in another thing I inquired about, teaching women how to sew, but I gave my friend a thing that I sewed for her tonight. She was so encouraging, saying that my sewing was beautiful. I got to thinking that really not very many people know how to sew, which means even fewer of them can volunteer to teach others, so I did fill out that application and send it in this evening. That one is also a much smaller commitment, so I could likely do that as well as something else. But the important thing for me is to do something on a regular basis.
She called me today, so I am for sure signed up. I do need to confirm with work that I am allowed to do this opportunity (they kind of overlap and I don’t want to be involved in a conflict of interests) but I’m nearly certain there is no policy limiting the kind of volunteer work I can do. Plus I’m going to be volunteering at a state prison, and I work federally, so they shouldn’t be having any contact with our office anyway. Apparently there is a waiting list and sometimes they wait a few years before they are matched, so I know I need to get in there and see if I can benefit someone on that list.