Friday, May 28, 2010

Two Months Down, Ten to Go

Nearly two months into this journey of philanthropy, and I'm still finding plenty of volunteer opportunities to keep me busy once a week. I've logged in more than twenty hours, and have many more to go.

The hardest part, however, hasn't been the actual volunteering, it's been setting up volunteer gigs that will work with my hectic schedule. I live for the weekends (though I try to make every day count), so I don't want to be stuck every Saturday working. Call me lame. Call me a bum. I don't care. I want to be by a lake on the weekends with friends and family enjoying the few warm months Michigan offers.

Luckily, many people have been helpful enough to accommodate my schedule. I have been mainly volunteering after work. My next stop, however, is with Gleaners on Wednesday morning before I hit the cubicle and a day of deadlines.

I figured since I just worked at the garden for DTE, I might as well check out Gleaners as well. Last year, Gleaners distributed more than thirty-million pounds of emergency food to more than four-hundred partner soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties, according to its website. I'm confident that this will be a worthwhile stint.

On the whole, the experience has been somewhat surprising. I have worked with groups that I would like to continue with after this project, and others that just aren't for me. The hardest part is writing honestly.

It's all perspective and observation on my part. I don't want to portray organizations negatively, but sometimes, aspects of the project have not been all positive.

After one of my earlier volunteer jobs, I had a call from a woman who did not want to be featured, even though she had agreed during the interview. In journalism, this sometimes happens, and we as writers have to decide what is more important — getting the story, or keeping a potential source for future stories.

There have been other times when I just don't feel like volunteering, but because I have made a pact with myself, I go out anyway — even if it means that the laundry continues to pile skyward.
It's also not cheap. I've spent at least fifty dollars on supplies, not including gas.

For now, though, I'm forgetting about deadlines and volunteering. I'm going to focus on enjoying the Memorial Weekend, and I hope you all do the same!

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