|A pic I took of one of my kids' scripts.|
I've always been very passionate about volunteering. I love helping people of course, but there's something more than that. When you take a couple hours out of your day to do something for someone else, you're completely transported. I don't care what the project is. The feeling is the same.
For instance, I volunteer every semester for the Young Storytellers organization (check it out here: http://youngstorytellers.com). For that one hour, every Wednesday that I leave my job and go to an elementary school and work with a child, I don't think of myself or my responsibilities even once. What a gift. It's honestly rejuvenating. The program itself is awesome - I work with my "mentee" for about 7 weeks on a script of his/her choosing, work with the other mentors on teaching the whole group of 10 kids about storytelling and writing in general and then at the end of the program, we bring actors to their school who in turn act out all of the kids' screenplays. It's truly amazing to see their faces at the end when they see their imaginings come to life on the stage. I gain new insight on things just by being surrounded by kids, get to spread the love I have for reading and writing, and simultaneously I help a child realize his/her potential. How amazing is that? I love it and have been with the organization for 2 years now.
Which brings me to accounting for one of the things on my 30 before 30 list - at least 50 hours of volunteer work this year. Even though it's much more than the hours I'm going to allot myself here, I think for this session of YST, I'll say I get 10 hours of service. An hour a week, plus a few hours for "The Big Show" and not to mention the typing and editing of my kid's script at the end.
So for now, I'm 10 hours into my goal. Not too shabby and I have a bunch more projects in the works. Next week begins another so I'll keep you all posted!
In the meantime, get out there and volunteer! No matter what you choose to get involved in, you'll never be sorry you did. And, if you ever need help getting started or need an idea of what to do, feel free to ask me! I love this kind of thing so I'm more than happy to help.
One tip to get started: think of the things you like to do. Do you enjoy gardening or working outside, but live in an apartment and don't have a yard. Be good to yourself then while at the same time helping the environment. There are all sorts of tree-planting organizations out there (I know, I've done it before and it's awesome!) or maybe find a school that needs volunteers to help with their gardens. There are all sorts of projects out there for all kinds of people with all types of interests. Who ever said volunteering had to be all work and no play.
Have fun with it and be kind to your community. :)