Good For Girls and Good For Me

Wherever I’ve lived, I always feel the need to get involved in some kind of volunteer work. In college, I tutored a high school kid. When I moved back home after college, I answered the domestic violence hotline a few times a month. On Vinalhaven, my job was all about coordinating community service. I mostly  do volunteer work related to education because it’s something that I’m interested in.

Labratzoey_2Since I’ve moved to Ellsworth, I have been searching for my new volunteer opportunity. It is finally happening as of this week.

Zoey’s Room is an online girl’s technology community introduced to me by a friend Ally on Vinalhaven. She ended up starting a club there and the girls loved it. The website, only for girls 10-14 years old, teaches girls technology skills and gives them a chance to socialize. Online safety is stressed, there is the potential to learn a lot, and I’ve liked the "mentor"y relationship I had with the girls, especially since I don’t get to work with kids a lot anymore.

I gave an info session to a couple hundred girls after which, eleven of them showed up to join the club. They are all so different from each other, leading me to believe even further that there is no such thing as a "typical" girl. They have a ton of energy and are itching to get started. We’ll be meeting weekly until the end of the school year. It’s pretty low pressure; the girls are all on their computers checking out the web site at their own pace. I’m just there to answer questions, help out when I can, and to get to know them better.

So I work a couple jobs, blog daily, and also like to take care of myself and other people. Why volunteer? I have a few reasons why volunteering is good for you in addition to being good for the world:

1) The less time available, the more critical it is to manage it. Maybe you are like me and given a lot of free time will waste it on gossipy magazines and too much snacking. Not to say a little of that is bad; it’s just good to keep some things to a minimum.

2) It’s a good way to meet people, for business and personal reasons. Whether you are in business or not, knowing more people helps you. For example, the more people who know I blog, the more will read it. I also could meet people who could potentially be really important for me in the business or friendship sense. And if you move to a new place, it’s a pretty good way to make friends.

3) It puts things into perspective. Think you have issues? Nothing like looking at something from another point of view to help you see your situation more clearly… and probably make you feel better.

4) It’s good for the world. The more good things you put into the world, the more you get back, right? At least that’s what I’ve always thought.

5) Something new to learn and something new to do. And who doesn’t like that?

So I’m looking forward to Monday afternoons with some new gals because I’m sure it’ll be an experience of value.

Have you done any interesting volunteer work?

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