Gala
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 08:23 am
Anyone out there who's had good experiences with volunteering?

I really want to become a Hospice volunteer, but the Hospice closest to me has decided to do the training over the course of 4 days during the week, instead of on weekends.

I volunteer for things when I can, I also work full time. Hospice isn't the only place I wasn't able to volunteer for because they have a schedule not friendly to full-timers.

On another topic-- I have been trying to find a womans shelter to donate items to, and again, every place I call the receptionist is either rude or they have these insane drop-off times and rules. Very frustrating.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 2,139 • Replies: 31
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Mame
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 08:26 am
I volunteered at a nursing home for 7 yrs and had nothing but pleasant experiences. I also volunteered at a Food Bank where they appreciated every minute you gave them. They were fun and congenial and felt like a second family. I also volunteered at one soup kitchen and hated being there. My sister had a wonderful experience at a soup kitchen. Just keep at it until you find the right fit. Sometimes it takes a while.
George
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 08:48 am
@Gala,
Gala wrote:

. . . On another topic-- I have been trying to find a womans shelter to donate
items to, and again, every place I call the receptionist is either rude or they have
these insane drop-off times and rules. Very frustrating.


I've donated to a women's shelter here and indeed there was a very strict set
of drop-off times and rules. Since many of these were battered and abused
women, I wasn't surprized that they would be so cautious.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 09:31 am
@Gala,
I've had some marvellous experiences as a volunteer over the years. So much so that I took a volunteer management program some years ago.

What I discovered through my experiences as a volunteer, as well as the program, is that the co-ordinator of the program makes all the difference in how the volunteer's experience is. You need to be able to make a good match between the volunteer and the placement - and be able to help the volunteers work through the frustrations of attempting to become involved. A lot more legal hoops to jump through now than 20 -30 years ago.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 10:28 am
@Gala,
I work full time as well and like to volunteer when I can - with 2 young children it isn't always easy.

I find it easiest to volunteer via work. Currently I am a pen pal with a 4th grade student through work. I've also did a reading program during lunch once a week where I was matched with a first grader to read with throughout the school year.

If your workplace doesn't have such programs ask if you could head a volunteer group at your workplace. This would be a win-win situation. Your company gets recognization for letting their employees volunteer without it costing much to them. I used to work for a large international company where they had a big group just for volunteer work, however, we worked in a small office out of state from their headquarters. So I headed up our local volunteer group. I ran things like a drive to collect diapers for a small local organization, school supplies for low income community, raised money for calling cards and care packages to soldiers overseas, did a volunteer day at the local zoo. Organized a two group to a local elderly apartment assistant living - where we did gardening/painting/and held a party for the residents. As a larger group there is more opportunities to go in one day and do a clean up day or something else.
0 Replies
 
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 10:29 am
@Mame,
Quote:
I also volunteered at a Food Bank where they appreciated every minute you gave them.

Thanks, Mame. I've put the important words in quotes, about appreciating every minute you gave them. I'm encouragd by your experiences, as well. If Hospice doesn't work out (I'm pursuing another center a little bit farther from me) I may look into a nursing home. I want to do something meaningful and enriching.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 11:13 am
@Gala,
Quote:
Anyone out there who's had good experiences with volunteering?


I have.

Don't expect people to fall over themselves in gratitude and you'll be fine.

A note on women's shelters. I volunteered to help build one once and they wouldn't give me directions to the site...they're very secretive.
And the staff often times are paranoid. Don't know if that's the case for you.

Anyways, good on you for volunteering. Keep it up
0 Replies
 
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 12:49 pm
@George,
Quote:
I've donated to a women's shelter here and indeed there was a very strict set of drop-off times and rules. Since many of these were battered and abused
women, I wasn't surprized that they would be so cautious.

That makes sense. But I've also experienced this with donating "lightly used" professional clothing to organizations where women are just getting a foothold. The hours of drop-off are impractical and not geared towards professionals.

ebeth:
Quote:
I've had some marvellous experiences as a volunteer over the years. So much so that I took a volunteer management program some years ago.

What I discovered through my experiences as a volunteer, as well as the program, is that the co-ordinator of the program makes all the difference in how the volunteer's experience is. You need to be able to make a good match between the volunteer and the placement - and be able to help the volunteers work through the frustrations of attempting to become involved. A lot more legal hoops to jump through now than 20 -30 years ago.

Good points. It only takes one good coordinator. That's impressive you signed up for a volunteer management program.

Linkat, I don't want to commit to seeing something through in regard to spearheading a cause, especially at work. I want volunteering to be meaningful, I don't want it to be even closely related to anything I do at my job. I do see your point though, and I appreciate your input.

panzade, I don't expect them to fall over me in praise, at all. But, the difference between getting someone who appreciates what you do and an someone who's less so, well, it makes a huge difference in whether you're willing to continue giving your time.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 01:04 pm
@Gala,
Actually all the volunteering I've done through work has been meaningful. I only choose those volunteering opportunities that are near and dear to my heart (thus all the children volunteering I've done more recently).

I only use the volunteer opportunites at work because of the convenience factor. Usually these volunteer opportunities I rarely even come into contact with people I work directly with. All the volunteer items I have been engaged with have nothing at all do with my work/job.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 01:14 pm
my mother is a retired teacher, there womens group regularly collects items for a local womens shelter

i've gone to help them deliver the items on a few occasions, the staff there wouldn't even let the women in the building, they had staff that met us outside and took the items from us, lot's of security and some well aimed paranoia at most shelters, and for good reason
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:02 pm
@Linkat,
The opportunities just aren't there at my work place, it's all a little too hectic to focus on others!
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:05 pm
@Gala,
It was recommended to me that perhaps I should volunteer my help.

Are there any requirements (academically and such) to volunteer for hospices and similar positions? How difficult or easy is the whole process?
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:22 pm
@djjd62,
When Caller ID first came out it was taken to court by women's groups who felt it would endanger a battered woman if she called her ex and he could figure wheree she was by the number on his display. They lost that battle, commerce won.
0 Replies
 
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:24 pm
@tsarstepan,
The more inportant question is, how do you want to help? I don't think credentials matter that much unless you want to be an assitant to a brain surgeon.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:28 pm
@Gala,
What kind of help would a hospice need?
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:34 pm
@tsarstepan,
Hospice assists people who are in the last stages of life.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:45 pm
@Gala,
I know what a hospice is but I'm not sure what a volunteer does.

And what organizations would I go to to apply? I could Google hospice and New York City but would I get suspicious or unsavory organizations?
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:58 pm
@tsarstepan,
I know about as much as you do.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:59 pm
FYI

Hospice always accepts donations of personal care products, and especially appriciate donations of lotions, disposible razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash/shampoo etc.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 03:19 pm
I volunteered for years at Planned Parenthood - that was a real eye opener and a pleasure at the same time. I am very comfortable with explaining the birds and the bees to teenagers and their options when it comes to contraceptives/procreation. I mostly interacted with the 18 - 22 year old crowd, but did have the occasional young teens, and later on homosexuals
who needed a HIV test.

I also volunteered for a number of years at an assisted living facility. I went there once a week and organized a tea party with cookies and nice china (I brought). These folks were in their 80s and sometimes demented. Many a times they forgot who I was from week to week, nonetheless they could be
so funny and entertaining. I enjoyed them very much, and I formed a close
friendship with the activity director of that place - we're still friends after
all these years.

0 Replies
 
 

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