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Old 08-25-2013, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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First I realize that for some folks, "zero" will be the answer; that answer is also of interest and equally valid. Others may be seeking volunteer work but do not yet know from experience how much will turn out to the be the "right" amount for them. I am assuming that responders will mention what it is they are doing, and the variety of answers will be interesting too. Some folks are volunteering out of a real passion for something, such as animal rescue, others for a good way to pass some time while feeling useful and appreciated. Has anyone done volunteer work which did not turn out to be enjoyable? Nothing wrong with that - on the contrary any search can easily hit some potholes along the way, can take some wrong turns.

I thought of this topic as I realized I have now reached my personal "capacity", i.e., I wouldn't want to take on any more. Briefly:

Mondays - free

Tuesdays - run a middle school chess club at lunch, then go to nearby elementary school #1 where I do a chess activity and then read aloud 30 minutes each to two different fifth grade classes. Total time about four hours.

Wednesdays - At elementary school #2, I read aloud 30 minutes each to four different fifth grade classes and do a chess activity at lunch. Total time about five hours, but there are breaks between most of the reading sessions during which I can relax and do my own personal reading.

Thursdays - Lunch time (two different lunches) chess club at middle school #2. Total time about two hours.

Fridays - Free for the moment unless I expand the chess club at middle school #1 to two days a week.

Yes, that's a lot - enough so some of you may question my sanity, but I find all this incredibly gratifying and I feel extremely appreciated, so the time spent is its own reward. If I am going out of town, or if I have out-of-town guests, it's easy to tell the schools that I am going to skip a week; they understand.

While I enjoy all the schools, elementary school #2 - where I am now starting my second school year - is an extraordinary and remarkable place. Middle school #2 - where I am about to start for the first time - is where most of the kids from that elementary school go, so I have high hopes.

I am looking forward to hearing other people's stories.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:42 PM
bUU
 
Location: Florida
12,075 posts, read 9,410,584 times
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I remember a week earlier in the years when I figured out that I spent about ten hours on volunteer work. That's a pretty heavy week of volunteering, given that I have a full time job, but I figure that'll be a pretty light week of volunteering once I retire.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 28,319,183 times
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I volunteer with the fire department, so it varies, as needed. Right now putting in 5-6 hours a week, sometimes less. I'm ok with doing a little more once I complete a few goals, but for now thats a good amount and luckily it's what they need.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:06 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,883 posts, read 70,117,185 times
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Not currently volunteering, but in the past, about 3 hours a week seemed to hit the "sweet spot."
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:21 PM
 
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I usually do 4hrs/week at a clinic for the uninsured. That's my regular schedule. I may stay 2extra hrs or I may pick up an extra 4hr day but It's hard to flip around and stay longer during the day considering I keep a regular night schedule. On the other hand, I'm likely to respond to a fire for the red cross at 11pm or 2am if i'm not working that night but that's not something i do on a weekly basis.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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You know, ani, the morei think about it, the more I think 3 hours a week is probably more accurate. In the summer, mostly what you do is host parties and man booths at community fairs. The parties are a big fundraiser. Kids love to see the trucks, and we get $$$ each time a party is held at our hall. Win win for the community. There's been talk about having me photograph some of the emergencies and then archiving and sending out the photos (as appropriate) and that would add a few hours, but luckily it's been a mostly emergency free summer, so I haven't started doing that task yet.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,883 posts, read 70,117,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
You know, ani, the morei think about it, the more I think 3 hours a week is probably more accurate. In the summer, mostly what you do is host parties and man booths at community fairs. The parties are a big fundraiser. Kids love to see the trucks, and we get $$$ each time a party is held at our hall. Win win for the community. There's been talk about having me photograph some of the emergencies and then archiving and sending out the photos (as appropriate) and that would add a few hours, but luckily it's been a mostly emergency free summer, so I haven't started doing that task yet.
What a worthwhile way of volunteering! Very similar to what I have done . . . I have volunteered w/ food banks, with various church projects, with newcomer groups, arts societies and history groups in the past. Not sure what I want to spend my time doing in the future. However, I think everyone of every age should be encouraged to volunteer in some capacity, if they can possibly work that into their schedules. I started volunteering as a child, when I chose UNICEF. I was lucky to grow up in a community where volunteering was seen as a fun, social activity.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:57 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
27,080 posts, read 45,168,934 times
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Very dependent on the person / activity. Some weeks 4-6hrs, (teaching business classes) but during Harvest Season ~ 80 hrs / week. (Driving combines, grain trucks, fixing stuff, machining parts overnight to be operational in the morning...)

Then there are the needy 'senior' neighbors... 10 - 60 hrs / week, varies with their needs. Sometimes just a few transport trips, sometimes attending them overnight while spouse 'caregiver' sleeps.

When working / reading in local schools... ~ 6-10 hrs / week.

Changing flat tires for damsel's in distress ~ 20 min / week.

Volunteer usher so can get FREE admission to classic / chamber music... ~ 4 hrs / month except during festivals (pre harvest season) ~ 30 hrs / week.

Master Gardeners ~ 10 hrs / week in season.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 08-25-2013 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:59 PM
 
Location: between three Great Lakes.
2,164 posts, read 2,341,570 times
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NO hours. I do not give away my labor for free.
If it's worth doing, it's worth being paid for.
Your milage may vary.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 76,777,953 times
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I did volunteer tutor work in schools when I was working.

Now that I'm retired I got certified and do sub work so I get paid to go help in school now.
If something part time came up I'd apply for the position because while I love working with the kids I don't want to be tied down to a full time job again.

I average 4 days a week subbing.
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