Volunteering—Is it a Fit for You?
Are you like me and raise your hand all too many times to volunteer for something that sounds “Interesting” or in the least “worth while”? Living in Salisbury, the opportunities to volunteer are everywhere: Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Civitan, Lions Club, Rotary, and of course Communities In Schools…not to mention church choir, church school, church women’s groups, church mission groups…the requests for volunteers in a church are endless. Being the Trainer for CIS Rowan, I have a vested interest in getting new volunteers. However, volunteering should be taken very seriously and be a good fit for you and the volunteer job.
Please ask yourself some questions before you raise you hand to volunteer:
1. Do I have time to do this volunteer work? Using CIS and Rowan Salisbury School System as my springboard, ask yourself if you have time to volunteer during school hours? If you work during the day, or have small children that need childcare when you are not at home during the day, working regularly during the day in our schools may not be your best option. What you volunteer to do should “fit” your time available.
2. Do I have a heart for the kind of work for which I am volunteering? For CIS, do you love children, do you love being around them. Let’s face it, some folks aren’t their best around children. Your patience may not be up to the task, your are too rigid in your expectations, you are intolerant of children and their antics—you really do not enjoy children. Possibly, working with the elder might be better fit for your “heart”; however, the same problems may exist—lack of patience, high expectations, intolerant of our seniors antics—to name a few. If after a quick brush you know that you do not really have the “heart” to work “with” people of any age, don’t rule out working with food, computers, household tasks and the like as a good fit for your “heart”. The need for volunteers are everywhere with all sorts of people, places, and skills.
3. Does the volunteer task make you happy? Akin to the above, what ever you volunteer to do, it should bring you great joy. You should leave your volunteer task with a feeling of satisfaction, happiness, and a desire to do the task again. Your volunteer job should invigorate you, not deplete your emotional and physical reserves.
4. Will your volunteering bring balance to your life? If you volunteer, will you be so stressed because of the time taken to do the job (even if you love and enjoy what you are doing)? Sometime we volunteer for the wrong reason…just because you know or like the one who has asked. (I am a member of Civitan and was asked to be committee chair of a couple busy committees. I was smart enough to say, I will chair one committee, you can choose which one…had I taken on another committee, I would have been so busy with all my other activities, I would have been miserable just trying to keep up.) If you have a husband, children, job, etc., balance is very important. Choose wisely what you are able to handle.
I am not trying to discourage you from being a volunteer, I only hope you look at what you volunteer to do as a happy addition to your life—one that will fit your life and likes. At CIS we have need for all sorts of volunteers: Mentors/Tutors working one-on-one with students from kindergarten through high school helping scholars with reading, math, and social skills. You could volunteer to be a Lunch Buddy, coming to a school during lunch time and sitting down and eating and talking with children . You could also be a Reading Buddy and read a book to small groups, just for fun. (We have other volunteer options.) Right now we are ramping up for those who volunteer for Field Trips, Band Trips, and being Test Proctors. These volunteer jobs generally take a day, but then are over…good for those volunteers that can take a full day from normal activities, or do not wish to commit to a weekly commitment.
Interested in any of the above, you will need to become a “Certified Volunteer” and we can help you , just email us at cisvolunteer@AOL.com or call 704-797-0210 for information.
CIS Rowan Volunteer Coordinator