Today, I’ll start teaching a Mom and her two young daughters English as a second language. I volunteered to do this, for free, partly because I like to make new friends, and also because it’s fun helping other people. But, I never heard back from her, so assumed she’d forgotten all about it. Apparently she hadn’t though…. “You will teach me at 5:30 today?” she asked me in Spanish after knocking on my door. Of course I told her that I’d be happy to.
The only thing is that I’ve had so much running through my mind lately, that I haven’t been sleeping as well. I know I had a whole plan thought up of what to teach her and the kids, and how I was going to do it – but now, I can’t remember it – at all! Such timing! But I really do want to help. Man.
There are three volunteer activities I’ve liked most in my life. The first was volunteering with CASA (Court-Appointed State Advocates). The next was taking calls at a hospice (a surprisingly life-affirming job), and tutoring one of my friend’s kids in English and American history. And an hour a week isn’t too much to give.
It’s strange because, although I believe in volunteering, I really don’t like talking about it. But for me, volunteering is a great way to get out of my tendency to isolate myself as true introverts do. Plus, when you volunteer, you get to learn about different cultures, beliefs, and ways of life that aren’t your own. For the most part, volunteering is fun, and as long as you don’t have to raise money, a really good way to meet new friends.
Although some people volunteer as a way to shore up a fragile ego, I believe that most volunteer because they genuinely empathize with the project. I no longer volunteer for all the things I used to, but volunteering occasionally, for me, is still fun and worthwhile.
While I figure out what kind of introductory class I’m going to teach today – let me know, what kind of volunteering do you do and why?
Love to hear it,