AARoads Forum

Non-Road Boards => Off-Topic => Topic started by: index on December 06, 2021, 02:26:43 PM

Title: Volunteer work
Post by: index on December 06, 2021, 02:26:43 PM
I am flying out of RDU Airport on December 10 and flying back on December 16, from MSY. An acquaintance told me about a volunteer project he was doing in New Orleans and I was interested.

I like volunteering, plus I wanted to fill up my time because I'll have nothing to do over winter break. It's with an organization called NECHAMA and they'll cover lodging, transportation to and from their base, and food for the time I'm there, I just have to pay for the plane ticket. The project we'll be working on is to help clear out debris and damage left over from Hurricane Ida.

I'm curious if anyone else here has done anything similar. I've volunteered before, but only ever for political purposes and never anything humanitarian, so I'm looking forward to all of this.

I was planning on driving to New Orleans from my parents' in Charlotte, but went against it, since I might not make it in one trip due to being tired and I'd have to pay for lodging which would make it just as expensive as flying for like, several times more time taken up, plus I'd be late.
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: Max Rockatansky on December 06, 2021, 02:38:51 PM
I’ve been “volunteered” for volunteer work by my actual work and my wife. It didn’t strike me as something someone ought to be engaging in unless they are really passionate about the reason/cause they are volunteering for.  I can’t really think of anything I would go out of my way to do that I would upon my own volition volunteer for.  Time constraints are also a significant issue for me, I rarely have idle down time.  I was kind of interested in maybe helping clean up a certain “abandoned highway” but the organizer killed any notion of that with his behavior.
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: JayhawkCO on December 06, 2021, 02:39:26 PM
I used to volunteer a lot for Special Olympics, but unfortunately haven't found the time to continue it.  It was super fun and rewarding.
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: CoreySamson on December 06, 2021, 02:41:10 PM
I love volunteering.

I was going to go on a similar trip to help clean up after Hurricane Ida this fall as well, but I wasn't able to go because of several issues.

I have helped out with hurricane cleanup and preparation before, however. I helped bag sandbags for Hurricane Harvey. In its aftermath, I helped unload donations at a local nonprofit, plus I helped put disaster debris in a dumpster (my favorite moment was chucking a garbage disposal into it) at a church family's flooded house. I also volunteer at my church every week.

I will say one of the best things about volunteering (aside from the fact that you feel like you've accomplished something amazing) is that you really get to know your fellow volunteers well. Some of the funniest inside jokes have happened while I've volunteered. If anyone is dating, I would recommend doing volunteer work as a great way to grow your relationship.
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: JayhawkCO on December 06, 2021, 02:46:08 PM
If anyone is dating, I would recommend doing volunteer work as a great way to grow your relationship.

A.K.A. you can also meet chicks.  :-P
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: Rothman on December 06, 2021, 04:47:00 PM
Volunteered for my church for two years, partly in Russia, partly in California.
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: GaryV on December 06, 2021, 06:13:31 PM
I have volunteered a number of times when our church hosted a homeless shelter, usually working in the kitchen.

I have worked at Gleaners food pantry either sorting incoming food or packing food to be distributed to school kids on Fridays (to give the family something to eat when the kids don't get school meals on the weekend).

I spend a lot of time volunteering at events (6 to 8 per year) at FIRST Robotics Competitions and FIRST LEGO League, including this past weekend.

And a lot of hours rehearsing for choir, bell choir and praise band at church.
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: index on December 14, 2021, 07:02:35 PM
Have an update.

So we've been working on gutting the interior of Ida-damaged homes, presumably so they can be rebuilt or demolished, which has actually been pretty enjoyable. I worked in a house that was so moldy, not even my PPE (in this case a respirator) would stop the smell, and I stepped on a nail (my boot stopped it from puncturing my foot).

Still better than working retail or fast food. I've worked neither of those and from the stories I've heard from friends, I don't want to work either of those. I'd much rather get a part time job doing this stuff. I like dealing with smashing down drywall, not dealing with people.

I also clinched I-310 being here, so there's that. I have one more day of work ahead of me then it's back to North Carolina. Wish I could stay for longer but flight pricing limited how long I was willing to be here. Don't have my own transportation so I couldn't explore the area much road-wise.
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 14, 2021, 07:53:29 PM
A few of my larger volunteer projects:
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: kurumi on December 15, 2021, 10:09:25 PM
Some fun things I've volunteered for:
* Habitat for Humanity (shear wall)
* Prep food for Thanksgiving meals
* evaluation and Tim Gunn - type advice during teen hackathons
* many library and adult literacy events: setup, cleanup, etc.
* similar for church events
* San Jose Japantown run, making sure runners don't miss the turn, cheer them on
* webapp (back when they were calling it LAMP stack: Linux (on EC2), Apache, MySQL, Perl) to support summer reading
* GOTV for a pres candidate before I was old enough to vote (no, I won't say who)

These have all been local, however. I haven't traveled more than about 30 miles for anything
Title: Re: Volunteer work
Post by: ozarkman417 on December 16, 2021, 12:01:14 AM
Great timing for this thread, kind of.

Around this time of year for the past few years, I ring the Salvation Army bells at "The Granddaddy of all outdoor stores"- Bass Pro Shops. Normally, it is quite cold when I do this just-outside-the-door activity, but instead, it is well in the 60s (though very windy). Despite this, I did not continue this tradition of mine this year, as a result of a large backlog of schoolwork I need to get done before the semester ends (my shift would have otherwise been today).

Other than that, I have occasionally volunteered though not any time recently) at the Springfield-headquartered Convoy of Hope, where I mostly pick stuff in their warehouse into boxes that end up getting shipped to places all around the world to those in need.