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JMAC
11-08-2007, 06:24 AM
I'm coming to realize that my political opinions have about zero effect on the National scale. This summer I got involved in a community project and had a grand time, and opened my mouth yesterday to offer my services in a much broader way. I'm starting to think the true impact we can have in this world is right here in the neighborhood we live in. (Yeah, now me AND Dorothy get it!)

So I'd like to know what you folks are involved in locally? How do you volunteer?

Milo Christensen
11-08-2007, 06:41 AM
A tip of the hat to you sir.

Marilyn is retired so she uses some of the time I'm at work to volunteer at least two days a week for the Red Cross.

Both of us are active with our local fresh food bank that the church runs, generally working a Saturday morning a month. We also shop for food on sale and donate that.

As we become more involved with the agency that runs the food distributions, Christian Services, we find the need to help folks locally is almost overwhelming. As an example, we had to buy a new bed to solve some orthopedic problems. None of the local charities wanted the old one until we called Christian Services, who simply said, "We have people sleeping on the floor, we'll send a team over on Saturday to pick it up and deliver it to a family escaping domestic abuse".

Since then, it's been pretty easy to donate $25 every now and then to help Christian Services buy a MSU surplus bed. We've also started buying household goods at garage sales for folks who've lost everything, or like the Iraqi family that arrived here as refugees with nothing.

I'm a rather fanatic canoer and always come back with my canoe loaded with a big bag of trash I pick up from the bank or out of the water.

But I'm haunted by the feeling that I should do more.

ishmael
11-08-2007, 07:09 AM
Thanks for the question.

Because of personal, selfish, issues I've isolated the last few years. To be honest, I've never been terribly community minded. Really small scale: someone needs help running a wood splitter or framing a wall, and I'd be there, but not much broader. I think not having kids allows and promotes a selfish attitude. And I think you're right that helping and being involved at the small community level is very important. I've just never been all that good at it, and, frankly, I've been a bit lazy.

Thanks for the prod, I needed it.

LeeG
11-08-2007, 07:25 AM
I did off and on since my kids were born, now it's about me, me, me.
Actually JMAC you're right, it's the best way to connect. A lot of personal neurosis lose significance doing community work.
In crisis these threads are what matter.

rbgarr
11-08-2007, 08:15 AM
Thanks for the question.

Because of personal, selfish, issues I've isolated the last few years. To be honest, I've never been terribly community minded. Really small scale: someone needs help running a wood splitter or framing a wall, and I'd be there, but not much broader. I think not having kids allows and promotes a selfish attitude. And I think you're right that helping and being involved at the small community level is very important. I've just never been all that good at it, and, frankly, I've been a bit lazy.

Thanks for the prod, I needed it.

Can't imagine anything that would be better for you to get you out of yourself. Let us know what volunteer work you select. Will check back next week and next month. Good luck.

Tylerdurden
11-08-2007, 08:25 AM
I have a little group that gets together and we try to assist politicians in their thought process.

http://spectator.ru/screenshots/fightclub.jpg

Wild Dingo
11-08-2007, 08:59 AM
I volunteer for the local SES mob here... was a bit on the hard side when I was workin away but nowadays Im spending more time there in the radio room since my knees gone bung its best use of my abilities... peak times are on their way... summer... the fire season sees most of us out with the brigade doin what is needed often assisting people out of their homes and to safe places... rescues sea and land although I have a bunch of training to go through due to bein away and now unable to do the physical... its a great mob of truely great people.

I have recently begun very minimal counselling with youth in the area... very minimal since I dont intend getting right back into it full blast and am only filling a gap in services in the area.

Jo has started making quilts and giving them to old people around the traps and has started donating them to the local red cross etc to raffle off... go like hotcakes too :cool:

Tylerdurden
11-08-2007, 09:04 AM
I'm personally ashamed that I don't do more.



You can sign up with us Norman.

ishmael
11-08-2007, 09:45 AM
My friend, I'll call her N. because she doesn't like her name on the web, is another eccentric. A good heart, a bit wounded by life, she's getting on in years. I keep telling her she's gonna out live me! She probably will.

Anyway, she's good with a needle and thread, a venerable tradition that used to have whole circles, and she invites a local girl into her home a couple times a week to teach her. A young lady who's interested in needle work. No money involved, she's just teaching the kid how to use a needle and thread. N. has arthritic, aging, fingers, but she's always busy with some needlework, and is eager to give her time and energy to a young person.

That kind of teaching and generosity is something we need, really need. It's not completely lost, or I wouldn't be talking about it and N. wouldn't be doing it, but it's threatened by our increasing isolation.

P.S. Rbgarr, point taken, and I agree.

Joe (SoCal)
11-08-2007, 10:46 AM
I have a little group that gets together and we try to assist politicians in their thought process.

http://spectator.ru/screenshots/fightclub.jpg

Tylerdurden What's the FIRST rule ? ;)


You don't talk about fight club.
You don't talk about fight club.[11] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club#_note-2rules)
When someone says stop, or goes limp, even if he's just faking it, the fight is over.[12] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club#_note-lostrule)
Only two guys to a fight.
One fight at a time.
They fight without shirts or shoes.
The fights go on as long as they have to.
If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight.
– Fight Club, pages 48-50[ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club#_note-palahniukfc4850)

George Roberts
11-08-2007, 11:19 AM
I always point out to my wife that giving money is a much more productive use of resources than giving time.

TimH
11-08-2007, 11:22 AM
I used to volunteer for a local wildlife clinic.

TomF
11-08-2007, 11:29 AM
George R? I call BS on that, though giving money's useful, to be sure. I do it.

Think of what's had the most impact on your own life, and likely there's a person in there somewhere. A mentor, parent, or a colleague, or a teacher. Someone. Even "self made" people have a model or motivator - and I'd argue how much anyone's really "self made."

You want to change a life, you've got to befriend someone. Don't be a jerk about it and get taken in ... but change is personal.

Yeah, I spend time with people at a local shelter, at our church, in my kids activities etc. But it's not "volunteering," so much as engaging people. Volunteering suggests it's a one-way process ... it isn't.

rbgarr
11-08-2007, 11:30 AM
My daughter in Seattle has just returned from guiding a trip to Copper Canyon in Mexico. Her job is to organize trips like that and an important part of it is to help the trekkers find, fund and follow through on community projects at local communities they visit. Purchasing a well pump and PVC piping for a village irrigation or fresh water system, for example. Solutions that would take a poor community years of savings to get into place, but are so important to have ASAP. Contributors often return to help with shipping, delivery and installation. Much more satisfying and involving than writing a check (only) they say. It's also something that can be done at the local level. It doesn't require exotic travel, though that is a draw.

I'm eager to get involved in low income housing and creation of public and working access to waterfront here in Maine.

hokiefan
11-08-2007, 11:58 AM
Until recently I did very little other than the few years I was my son's Cub Scout Den Leader and assistant coached my daughter's soccer team. The time demands of a job and kids was the rationalization.

Now I'm our company's rep on the board of a local non-profit, a community development corporation that is working to improve the local neighborhood economically and socially. Doesn't take much time, but is fulfilling to see the progress that is slowly coming together in a very downtrodden neighborhood.

Also, our company serves dinner quarterly at one of the local homeless shelters. Assuming I'm in town, I go from start to finish to help cook, serve, and cleanup. The guy that coordinates all this worked in restaurants all through college and is a wiz at mass produced, very good, but cheap food. He was just awarded a corporate award for excellence in community service by the company.

I'm considering other options for volunteering, but I want to chose carefully so I do the things where I can truly help vs just doing everything. Its very rewarding and I think the more you do, the more you want to do.

Cheers,

Bobby

Joe (SoCal)
11-08-2007, 12:04 PM
I always point out to my wife that giving money is a much more productive use of resources than giving time.

Where do people like you come from :confused::confused::confused:

Tylerdurden
11-08-2007, 02:16 PM
Tylerdurden What's the FIRST rule ? ;)

You don't talk about fight club.
You don't talk about fight club.[11] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club#_note-2rules)
When someone says stop, or goes limp, even if he's just faking it, the fight is over.[12] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club#_note-lostrule)
Only two guys to a fight.
One fight at a time.
They fight without shirts or shoes.
The fights go on as long as they have to.
If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight.
Fight Club, pages 48-50[ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club#_note-palahniukfc4850)


Joe, I was talking about project mayhem

john l
11-08-2007, 02:58 PM
"it takes a village"

"all politics are local"

Iggy
11-08-2007, 04:30 PM
Volunteer firefighter; thankfully it's a quiet, sparsely populated area. Looking for other opportunities, but "it's a quiet, sparsely populated area".:)

JMAC
11-09-2007, 05:53 PM
During the 10:00 AM Community forum time slot on WERU FM this morning I heard two women friends of mine speak about the chapter of PeaceJam that they started with local high school kids. In a few moments I'll be going to a music jam hosted by a couple who are crazy enough to have their rafters shaken by us once a month. Last night our regional woodworking group voted to give a couple of hundred bucks to the Carpenter's Boat Shop....and we feasted on Barbara's cookies. I will preach now...get ready...TURN OFF THE TV!!!
Community involvement is rich...and really, watch the tube if you need to, but...

amen

rbgarr
11-09-2007, 06:10 PM
Wish I could get WERU on the radio down here.

Bob Adams
11-09-2007, 07:30 PM
Animal shelter volunteer big time. In keeping with my off the wall character, it's a ferret shelter. December's duties has me being a Pet Smart Santa for three weekends.

rbgarr
11-09-2007, 07:51 PM
Learn to pull rabbits out of your hat. That'll wow the kiddies! ;)

JMAC
11-10-2007, 09:20 AM
Try www.weru.org , you can get it online. Not very practical, but throughout the week's schedule you might find a program that interests you at a time when you're near the computer. Try Greg Rossel's world music show on Sunday evenings.

willmarsh3
11-10-2007, 09:54 AM
I like this thread.

I help the sail club here. I just finished a year as Commodore. I'm staying involved though as newsletter editor. I provide my boat for a youth sail. The kids love it. I need to find other things to help out with. When I built my Elver I had plenty of visitors. With luck, those seeing the project were inspired to positive activities like wood working or making things themselves - something we need more of.

botebum
11-10-2007, 10:09 AM
I was a member of the Volunteer Fire Dept. at our last address but because of the political bs and a marked decrease in available time I took my name off of the active roster. Still good friends with the chief. At one time he was the youngest volunteer fire chief in the nation at 20 or 21 years old IIRC.
Since we bought this place time and money are at a premium. Hopefully, down the road, I can get involved in something.

Doug

rbgarr
11-10-2007, 10:13 AM
Try www.weru.org (http://www.weru.org) , you can get it online. Not very practical, but throughout the week's schedule you might find a program that interests you at a time when you're near the computer. Try Greg Rossel's world music show on Sunday evenings.

It's bookmarked and we listen to it and others on occasions just as you suggest. My daughter and her guy are coming for Christmas and their present to us is wiring the house so speakers from the 'computer radio stations' can be heard in other rooms. That will be bitchin'... if they can make it work (?)

JMAC
11-10-2007, 01:13 PM
Take ALL you can.
Give NOTHING back!!
-Captain (!) Jack Sparrow

Give ALL you can
Take NOTHING back!!

I sure won't get there, but both these statements have their appeal. I'm seeing a tie between ability to volunteer and ability to manage your time well, and also to not being stuck in your own head.

rbgarr
11-17-2007, 07:05 PM
Thanks for the question.

Because of personal, selfish, issues I've isolated the last few years. To be honest, I've never been terribly community minded. Really small scale: someone needs help running a wood splitter or framing a wall, and I'd be there, but not much broader. I think not having kids allows and promotes a selfish attitude. And I think you're right that helping and being involved at the small community level is very important. I've just never been all that good at it, and, frankly, I've been a bit lazy.

Thanks for the prod, I needed it.

Jack-

A week has passed. Have you pursued a volunteering opportunity?