Friday, July 10, 2009

Tapping into my inner Mother Teresa

Sometimes, I look like her when I haven't had enough sleep

Before I had kids, I did a lot of volunteer work. It was something instilled in me by my do-good mom and my high school, where you needed 160 hours of community service hours to graduate. I used to go grocery shopping on Saturday for a woman who had multiple sclerosis, we became good friends. In college, I ran a toddler playgroup for local kids in need. Post-college, I volunteered at a pediatric playroom in a hospital that treats cancer.

I haven't done much volunteer work since Max was born. Part of me feels like Max should be my only project because he needs as much help as he can get. But then, I want to help other people in need. And I want to teach the same to the kids. (One good thing about this crappy economy, I've read, is that it's been a boon for volunteerism; more people out of work, more time on their hands.)

I'm starting something with the kids this month: I'm going to sit down with them in front of the computer, ask them to help pick a charity and make a donation to it. Charity Navigator has lots of good options. But giving money is one thing; I really, really want to find a way to do some hands-on help.

Any of you do volunteer work?


  1. I am from a family of volunteers! I love helping out at the RSPCA, I help teach scripture at a local school, I help entertain kids at a local soup kitchen and I am a youth group leader!

  2. I volunteer some, but I'm not a special needs mom so it's not quite the same thing. I do it because it's a good thing to do, but also because I feel better when I do it. Kind of like exercise (which I need to do more of). I haven't been reading your blog long enough to know if this is feasible, but maybe Max and Sabrina could help too. Like they could help you make cookies to drop off at a shelter or nursing home. You'd have to make sure that homemade donations are accepted, but it might be cool for them to participate and that would be a way to let them help others that wouldn't mean a ton of extra work for you.

  3. I did a volunteer year last year (and almost extended my contract this year). I LOVED it. I plan to do more long term volunteer work in 2010.

  4. I've never been organized enough to do it, but I often have thought I should use some of my respite funding for Luke while I volunteered.

  5. yes :) volunteering is such a gift (to both parties!) I recently ran a harvesters campaign and then volunteered at a preschool/kindergarden for underprivledged special needs kiddos! They most certainly opened my heart to these special kids

  6. special Olympics

    I know it is the shortest comment ever

  7. In the past I've volunteered (through a program called Economics of Staying in School) at select highschools to inform the students the benefits of staying in school. You also review realistic finances and the cost of daily living which ties into the benefits of staying in school.

    It was enjoyable and it was mostly at school with children who were troubled (last resort schools). Hopefully some of what we discussed stuck?

  8. I don't. I feel bad, but I work sometimes sixty hours a week, and odd hours, too. I am not in the high-end in terms of wages, if I didn't work OT I'd have some months below the poverty level.


Thanks for sharing!

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