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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default Who here volunteers?

    I'm curious to know who here has done any long-term, continuous volunteer work and what your experiences are. How did you choose your area to volunteer in? Did you have prior training or did they train you? Are there any good volunteering websites you can recommend?

    I've basically confined my searching to idealist.org and I'm kind of mad because I'm finding a lot of organizations I'm interested in make it difficult to volunteer, and these aren't orgs that require specialized training like disaster relief or medical skills. When I say difficult I mean they want you to write essays, writing samples, and letters of recommendation (sometimes a min. of three!). I'm willing to turn in my resume, submit to a background check/drug testing, give references, and go through training but that other stuff makes it feel like more of a chore.

    Maybe they're trying to find really dedicated people and use those measures as a screen, but the process is too labor intensive. Although you want high quality volunteers it shouldn't be so difficult that capable people are turned away because they didn't turn in a writing sample to sort clothes or go canvassing.

    Yeah, I mad. I was rejected for something because I didn't turn in a writing sample.:steam:
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  2. #2
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    National CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate Association - CASA for Children: Advocating for Abused and Neglected Children

    They require letters of recommendation, Livescan, FBI background checks, proof of car insurance, lots of training, sworn in by a judge, etc.

    All worth it which is why I'm doing it.

  3. #3
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I have a friend who did CASA and she says it was a worthwhile experience.

    Proof of car insurance is no biggie and getting sworn in sounds fun.

    Tracking down people for letters of recommendation is a pain. I mean I could just get my friends to write some or write them myself and have someone else sign it, but I think that's dishonest.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  4. #4
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Ah. I'm not much of a networker yet that seems like an easy task for me. For as many people I send running for the hills, I've got ones shouting my praise to anyone that will listen.

    I'm a polarising individual.

  5. #5
    movin melodies kiddykat's Avatar
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    I volunteer for an organization helping homeless families transition back into society/into the workforce.

    Check out: VolunteerMatch.com. I really like that site. Most places on there didn't make it difficult to apply/join.

    It's frustrating when 'volunteer work' starts to feel like 'work' when submitting a resume/cover letter is required, isn't it? It''s like crawiling on hands and knees just to be of help. Ridiculous.

  6. #6
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    I used to volunteer quite a bit, but it was mostly within my comfort zone. I spent two or three years volunteering at my local library, shelving in the A/V section. I also had family connections to Habitat for Humanity for a while, and would volunteer there, doing whatever needed to be done, around the office or at the job site. I took a service trip to L.A. last month to volunteer for various organizations that help the homeless in the Hollywood area.

    My basis for where to volunteer is pretty basic (and selfish, honestly): I look around, and whatever intrigues me, strikes my interest, or makes me go "Hey, that sounds fun!" is what I choose to do. Also, if anyone (esp. friends or family) suggests something to me, or asks me to volunteer somewhere, I'm pretty likely to do it.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  7. #7
    is an ambi-turner BRMC117's Avatar
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    I am a Volunteer Firefighter, that was what my INFP "calling" put me at. I love it! I have so much fun and I really feel like I am helping and giving back.

  8. #8

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    I was an Assistant Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts for ten years. Admittedly, it was seamless and easy for me because I had been a Boy Scout and just became a leader when I turned 18. But I really got a lot out of it and learned how to deal with different types of people.

    I am not the outgoing type and probably wouldn't volunteer unless it fell in my lap like this did. Something strikes me as very presumptuous about the way the organizations you have looked into recruit. Someone who is willing to volunteer shouldn't be subject to so much...they should just say "thank you" and then if you prove to be unreliable or excessively weird they can push you out.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  9. #9
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I used to volunteer quite a bit, but it was mostly within my comfort zone. I spent two or three years volunteering at my local library, shelving in the A/V section. I also had family connections to Habitat for Humanity for a while, and would volunteer there, doing whatever needed to be done, around the office or at the job site. I took a service trip to L.A. last month to volunteer for various organizations that help the homeless in the Hollywood area.
    Same here.

    I usually volunteer for festivals, at the local library, soup kitchen sometimes, humane shelter, galleries, with churchs, our symphony league, the museum, etc. I very rarely if ever work with organizations. In high school, I applied to do volunteer work at a hospital and I needed two quick recommendations that only required filling out a couple of forms and a signature. That was all. Local community service is much more easy to participate in than working with larger organizations.

    I've never worked directly with one, and I'm really sad that you're having so many problems with that.

    *shakes head in disgust*

  10. #10
    Feelin' FiNe speculative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I've basically confined my searching to idealist.org and I'm kind of mad because I'm finding a lot of organizations I'm interested in make it difficult to volunteer, and these aren't orgs that require specialized training like disaster relief or medical skills. When I say difficult I mean they want you to write essays, writing samples, and letters of recommendation (sometimes a min. of three!). I'm willing to turn in my resume, submit to a background check/drug testing, give references, and go through training but that other stuff makes it feel like more of a chore.
    I sensed this also, but haven't run into it yet. But my experience is very limited. I think that with 15 million + people unemployed and possibly volunteering, they really have their pick of the litter. Also, like everything else in the universe, litigation avoidance is the grease that squeaks the wheel. I did some basic math (meaning, I used my Fi for about 5 seconds) and realized that everyone's cost of living and doing business would be about 5% of what it is currently with a healthy dose of tort reform...

    Sorry if that was veering a bit OT. I volunteer at a historical society/museum a few hours a week. I'm still thinking about volunteering at the humane society, or through my church. Also, I attended campaign school and I might volunteer to work on some local political campaigns...
    "How can I be, all I want to be,
    When all I want to do is strip away these stilled constraints
    And crush this charade, shred this sad, masquerade"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGeq5v7L3WM

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