I often hear (or read) advice to single women that they should volunteer. I'm just wondering how many of you you regularly volunteer and what your experience and satisfaction has been with it?
I am currently not vounteering at all. I want to want to volunteer, but I can't seem to get excited about anything in particular. There are all the usual things on offer: soup kitchen, visit an old folks home, meals on wheels, animal shelter, etc. It just seems like you'd do your shift and go home, and it's just not appealing. Yeah, I know one could get more involved with the administration of the organization, but nothing seems very inspiring to me. And, I can't really think of anything that I feel inspired to start on my own.
I've been a volunteer literacy tutor twice. When I first got divorced, this was about the only thing that seemed appealing, and it was at first. It involved meeting with an illiterate adult once a week and tutoring them using provided workbooks. I would meet the student at the library one-on-one. You might think, "Well, why didn't you get involved in an activity that put you around a lot of people?" but that's not really the point of volunteering is it? You volunteer to do something that you feel interested in.
My first student dropped out after about 6 months. This isn't uncommon. Adults who can't read have spent a lifetime working around it and they really don't know what they are missing. Most of them are poor and have lots of problems besides not knowing how to read. Years later, the organization called me again and I took on another student who also dropped out when the books became too hard. They tried to get me to volunteer again, but I just didn't have the heart for it anymore. I'm not really the social worker type I suppose.
I've volunteered at a PBS auction, at health fairs (was forced by my employer), worked a shift serving food at a concession stand for two different organizations and was a volunteer board member for a professional organization.
Again, I think volunteering is wonderful when you feel inspired to do it, and our society needs selfless acts. But is forcing yourself to do something really worthwhile?