Friday, November 19, 2010

Sincerely Flattered

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, consider me blushing.

After spending nearly eight months volunteering on a weekly basis for “The VALunteer Project,” (yes, I did take a couple of weeks off during vacation), I see that a competitive online newspaper has assigned reporters to volunteer and then write about the experience. While initially annoyed that my pet project is now being re-written in Ferndale, it’s nothing new. Media outlets scan each others stuff and then rehash it.

For the record, I do not get paid to volunteer or write my blog. I came up with the idea at work and then during a staff meeting, got the semi-cheesy name from our online editor. (Thanks Steve, it’s actually been a hit in the community.)

I go to my day job first, then spend my time volunteering. Sometimes it’s a few hours on a Saturday; other times it’s been after work. It’s a personal journey, and so far, it’s been more than rewarding. Volunteering has helped me more than I have probably helped others. I get to meet cool people, hang out with animals and improve my navigational skills as I maneuver Oakland County’s traffic. Most importantly, I get to share with the community the needs of various groups that do important work to help out.

While I’m not a fan of copycat journalism, I am a fan of volunteering. Though not “court ordered,” can you call it volunteering if it’s an assignment? I’m not sure.

Regardless of my annoyance that my blog idea has been skimmed, how many cooking blogs are out there? How many fashion blogs? Can I even claim originality? Spending time in the community is always a worthwhile cause, and my only hope is that original or imitation, people will be inspired to help out others.

Please, feel free to share your thoughts with me. How do you make your world better? And how can I help out in my community.


  1. If you're required (by a court order) or paid to do work, that isn't volunteering. I know you're not being paid to do this blog, so you truly ARE the "VALunteer." They stole from the best. :)

  2. Agreed on that point. If you're being paid to do something, it's not volunteer work.

    You've been an inspiration around here, Val. We've seen firsthand how hard you've worked — spending hours at the grind here in the office only to leave and give away for evening for a good cause. Kudos to you!