I mentioned that I had five volunteer gigs over five days. Here is how it went:
Day 1 – The Refuge
I arrived after work for my regular night feeding, cleaning and medicating (if necessary) the resident parrots. I found that the daily work was already finished, and our directors were introducing a previous adopter to another bird. It was an African Grey parrot named Sasha. She is relatively new (it looks like her profile isn’t even on the website yet), but pretty well socialized. However, she plucks her feathers to the point of mutilation and needs to wear a collar.
It looked like it was going well The bonus: this is the family that had adopted Vito, brother of my recently addition, Sigmund. They brought him for a visit. It is funny with birds coming from the same home – sometimes they sound exactly alike and sometimes they really do their own thing.
After chatting awhile about the birds, I headed home to give some “out time” to my own before heading over to Starbucks.
Day 1 – Project Linus
I was running early, but wasn’t even the first one there. I brought my current project, some new fleece (to exchange for prepared fleece) and seven completed blankets. These nights at Starbucks started as a “stitch and bitch” but with the growth of the group, and the fleece exchange, and the tagging and bagging we have made these nights really productive.
I was sitting with Judi, one of the chapter coordinators and the topic was fleece blankets. She said that about 75% of the blankets donated these days are fleece. The other 25% are knitted, fully-crocheted or quilted. “Of course they are,” I said. “I can complete one crocheted fleece blanket during one average basketball game.” Then Karen said, “And it takes an entire season to complete a fully crocheted blanket.” So we determined that we are feeling more accomplished and reaching more children this way.
Note: I have completed two fleece blankets since Wednesday.
Day 2 – Library
Thursday was my regular night at the Library. Turns out there was a board meeting that night, so I had several visitors on top of being rather busy with regular patrons.
One lady was looking around for an hour and a half. Very unusual. She was in several different aisles and sat down at the back table to peruse them more than once. When she came to purchase a few, she explained that she had seen one of the 9/11 conspiracy documentaries the week before and it made her crazy. She was reading everything she could get her hands on to determine the truth for herself, and she seemed incredibly agitated.
I remember seeing a piece where the scientists were saying there is no physical way the towers could have fallen the way they had purely from the planes hitting at those particular times and places. The suggestion was that the buildings were rigged with some other explosive or accelerant. I remember thinking that I should read more about it, too. Then decided that if I did, I would make myself crazy.
I am not proud of this.
Day 3 – Nothing Scheduled
But I started and finished a Project Linus fleece blanket.
Day 4 – Library
We had a meeting of the Used Book Store’s steering committee. We meet two or three times a year to review numbers, recall incidents and plan for the next few months. Yesterday, we reviewed numbers like: we earned something like $10,000 each year in the old building. In the new building, with our new room, we earned something like $30,000 in 2011.
Then we started some good debating over use of time and space and resources (financial and volunteer). I played my “I feel strongly about this” card on getting rid of all the VHS tapes. They are taking up too much space that we need for actual books. I think we agreed to pare it way down.
Day 5 – Library
Today I am heading back over to staff the store for the afternoon. The lady that had been working Sundays is in declining health and wanting to retire, but didn’t want to leave anyone in the lurch. I said that I would take one every once in awhile, as long as it wasn’t football season. Back in the old building, Sundays were generally quiet and today, I would really like to read! Our director noted that if every volunteer took one, we would each work one Sunday every year and a half.
Somehow, I doubt that is going to happen.
I have had several discussions recently over the different reasons why people volunteer and what they (hope to) get out of it. Some actively want to make a difference. Some have social reasons. Some are passionate about a particular cause. Some just want to get out of the house. The moral of the story is there are opportunities out there for everyone to be involved. Please go out and find one.