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Old 12-16-2016, 01:30 PM
 
6,756 posts, read 3,857,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
It is sad to think the highlight of the day is a visit from a dog. I hope I go before I get to that point in life. I am sure I could not stand to do therapy dog visits. That would be more sadness than I could take.
Well, volunteering involves helping to meet unmet needs, so there is a certain amount of sadness with most of it. The clue is to concentrate on meeting the need. And by the way, like you, the people needing help never hoped to get to that point.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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OP, you can do things independently to raise money for your favorite charity and then donate the money earned. That way you are in charge of WHAT you do, and WHEN. My friend pet sits to raise money for local animal charities and donates all her earnings. $15,000 last year!
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:35 PM
 
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Except for taking "me time" there's nothing I enjoy more than helping people. I spent my life's work in helping professions and the only things which I've never cared for was punching a clock and the bureaucracy. Too bad for me! But I always found ways to circumvent the worst of it.


So in retirement it's clear to me that joining any kind of an organization in order to volunteer is not my cup of tea. Unlike my DH who's a worker bee who digs in and keeps his nose to the grindstone, I'm more of a butterfly, drifting from flower to flower. I get the job done - it's just solitary and looks like I'm enjoying myself entirely too much.


My jobs required endless patience with irritating people and I've learned to do that but it's not something I want to do for the rest of my life. And it's been my experience, like the OP's, that group work often means dealing with the confounded hierarchy. There are many more personality types that function in that manner than us less social. That's a good thing for society but sometimes frustrating for us others.


I go to care centers and ask the social services person who would benefit from a visit. While there I keep my eyes open. Nearly everyone could use their glasses cleaned or someone to fetch something for them. Once the staff becomes accustomed to seeing me around they seem to welcome me. That all started when I went back to Mom's care center to visit friends I'd made there after she died.


I tried socializing rabbits but that was a depressing failure. All I got out of that was that, for some reason I can't figure out, rabbits don't like me. And rabbit poo was okay but I don't want to deal with dog or kitty poo.


Sometimes I just go out and wherever I see a need I try to fill it. (I scared a little old lady to death one day when, in a windy snowstorm, I spotted her struggle to get her groceries into the trunk of the car. I raced over and took the package from her before stating an intention as it looked like she was going to drop it and I think she thought I was stealing her groceries!)


There's so much more I could be offering that sometimes I feel guilty for not sharing my skills more consistently. I suppose that's from the lifetime habit. At times I meditate on it and remind myself to be open to possibilities sent my way.


What I won't do is give money anymore. I've become disillusioned about that and it's entirely too easy. Since I still can I prefer to act out my values by doing something constructive.


__________________________________________________ _______


And yes to the Salvation Army regardless of their religious beliefs. My dad spoke so highly of them after WWII. He told the story of coming in from the battlefield and going to the Red Cross tent where there were sandwiches wrapped up on the tables. When the soldiers tried to take them they were told no, that the sandwiches were for the prisoners of war.


But the Sal was right out there with the guys trying to meet their needs. I don't think you have to believe any particular thing in order to do good works.


After rereading my post and the thread it occurred to me how often I wonder when a "good work" has a positive outcome and when it doesn't. Sometimes all we can do is trust that we are doing the most constructive thing.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,767 posts, read 4,827,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
It is sad to think the highlight of the day is a visit from a dog. I hope I go before I get to that point in life. I am sure I could not stand to do therapy dog visits. That would be more sadness than I could take.
(Bolding by TheShadow)

Sorry to be harsh...but it's not really supposed to be about you when you volunteer.

For the folks in hospital or assisted living who can't care for a pet, the opportunity to spend time with a sweet, warm, non-judgmental, precious baby could be the highlight of their week and providing that opportunity should give one a serious warm, fuzzy feeling. Nothing sad about it at all, it's pure joy and sharing.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,000 posts, read 13,571,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
My favorite thing to do is one I started with a couple of friends. We are all marine scientists and wanted to encourage more children of color to consider STEM as a career, so we started a free marine science one week long camp in our county. We donated our times to be teachers for a week in the summer, and we both find it fun and enjoy helping kids discover things about themselves and their community they didn't already know.
That is awesome! Good for you. A programmer friend of mine (before programming became cool) volunteered to teach programming to kids in junior high. A few of them were so good that he mentored them through high school and college and landed them some very good jobs.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,729,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
It is sad to think the highlight of the day is a visit from a dog. I hope I go before I get to that point in life. I am sure I could not stand to do therapy dog visits. That would be more sadness than I could take.

I agree. I suppose it was predicable that you would be slammed for this. Not sure why some people can't disagree without being disagreeable about it.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:33 PM
 
6,232 posts, read 4,721,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
(Bolding by TheShadow)

.... Nothing sad about it at all, it's pure joy and sharing.
I watched my MIL decline way past the point where she could not even recognize her children or caretakers. It is sad to watch the decline. When the big event of the week or the day is a visit from a dog, I would want to call it over. I am not going to decide for someone else when they should give up on life.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,767 posts, read 4,827,803 times
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Yes, as the DIL of a woman in assisted living with dementia, I feel sad for her losses, as well as those of her neighbors. I put my feelings aside to offer her any joy I can give her (or others), irrespective of how it makes me feel. It's not about me. And that's the point I am trying to make. It's about the recipients of our volunteer efforts and how they feel. That's why I say it's not sad. Watching someone interact with an animal is so touching, and knowing the joy it brings them brings me joy.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:46 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,545 posts, read 39,924,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpaint View Post
Well, volunteering involves helping to meet unmet needs, so there is a certain amount of sadness with most of it. The clue is to concentrate on meeting the need. And by the way, like you, the people needing help never hoped to get to that point.
Probably why I enjoy Hospice Volunteering, many people just can't deal with it. (especially estranged families)

I am privileged to be able to help where others can't / don't feel comfortable.

If you can add a glimmer of hope and joy / peace to a needy soul, the world is full of needy souls and lonely people.

just don't too wrapped up in your volunteer efforts and politics. It is very difficult to manage volunteers, so make it EZ on your volunteer boss! Do what others won't, and don't say a word... just take care of it when no one is looking. (i.e. Stealth)
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Mountains of Oregon
15,318 posts, read 17,767,956 times
Reputation: 10657
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
There is a veteran's hall here. I haven't been there yet.

NMSFM, perhaps you would enjoy volunteering at one of the California State Parks...


https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=886

https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/735/f...lweb102814.pdf
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