The act of service

I am a volunteer. I enjoy volunteering. I don’t do it for recognition. I do it because I believe that it is each community members responsibility to give back a bit to their community. I do it because it says: “I don’t have to get paid to give something in return.” Yes, I feel that it is required of me as one who has been given gifts from God and should use them from time to time to benefit the community without gaining anything in return.

I believe that both the Bible and the Quran talks about the importance of service and if I had a bit more time: I would post both sets of scriptures. I am sure that volunteering will come up again, so I will get another opportunity to do so.

Imran says that I volunteer too much and don’t get paid.

I agree that I want to get paid.

But, first:

it was hard for me to even volunteer as a disabled person. People were (still aren’t) sure what I can do. They are skeptical. They are more likely to accept me as a volunteer than a worker. This does not make me feel appreciated. But, it is a start.

So: what do I do to volunteer.

First let me say that I am moving because I still have no employment.

I have a four year degree in social work with a minor in sociology. I have had tons of family experience. But, jobs seem to elude me.

I would feel quite unproductive if I just sat around, so I volunteer in the meantime.

I do the following:

1. 2 mondays a month I volunteer my time/energy at our local soup kitchen. I help prepare food. This lasts from four to five hours per day.

2. two days a week, I perform data entry for our local animal shelter. I intake animals, answer phones, process animals out and make appointments. I spend about 11-14 hours per week.

3. I volunteer on livemocha and any other site to help people with their English. I use to make up lessons. But, I also critique exercises and give instructions and feedback. I have not tallied up time because I am at home on the computer and lose track of time

. But, it does take up a large portion of my time, also.

These don’t sound like much when they are written down, but they are significant.

when I move, I won’t be volunteering at the first two.

I don’t think that he likes me volunteering at the animal shelter. He feels that it does take up lots of my time and they do rely on me when they go on vacation.

When someone does go on vacation, I usually step up my commitment to every day because I know that they are short staffed.

they say that they would love to hire me, but the county won’t let them.

Imran is not an animal person, anyway.

But, he feels like they are taking advantage of me.

I concede that they might be using my skills quite a bit – especially when they are on vacation and they need help.

But, at least I have something to do and can put it on my resume for later. and, I do think that they appreciate me and they understand that I am moving in the hopes of gaining substantial employment.

I did try volunteering at “first Call for Help,” which is a resource referral hotline. this is more inline with my degree. But, they did not have an accessible computer and after almost a year, even with donations, they still don’t have one.

So, obviously, my skills are not needed there, either.

I think that it is sometimes difficult for disabled people to volunteer because the public sees them as “takers,” in the help relationship, not givers. I think that there are many who feel strange about accepting assistance from a disabled person. It is as if they feel like it is a blow to their pride. Well, I’ll continue to serve wherever I can.

Check out my written articles and comment at:
“Bonds of the Heart should never be broken!”
“Dil kay rishton kay bandhan kabhi naheen tootnay chahiay hain!” — Urdu translation


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