I have been doing volunteer work since I was probably about 12. Sure, I did service projects when I was younger through girl scouts and whatnot, but nothing independent or recurring until I was 12. I started with working with the Child Advocacy Center, then the marketing department at the hospital, then Camp Sumatanga, plus a nice assortment of church and school projects.
When I went to BSC and went through Rush, I always asked about the philanthropy stuff and working with some of the projects that each sorority sponsored. And most of the girls looked at me like I was crazy. They didn't care anything about actually working WITH the people or groups they sponsored, they just wanted to have a party and send them a check. I wasn't cool with that. I NEEDED volunteer work because something just felt like it was missing when I wasn't doing it.
So to solve that little problem, I went through volunteer training at Children's Hospital. I didn't have a particular area where I wanted to work, I just wanted to do something. I got trained and interviewed but just never got a placement. And so I sat in limbo for almost a year. Then I decided to contract my month with the Pastoral Care department and ended up working with them for quite some time. In addition to Children's, I also worked with a Brownie Girl Scout troop and with Rape Response. It broke my heart when I moved to Nashville and had to start all over again.
I didn't do nearly as much volunteering in Nashville, but I knew I had to do something, so I defaulted to what I knew best and was the easiest to get into - hospital work. I ended up working with the pastoral care department at Vanderbilt Medical Center for about two years.
In the past year life has been a little crazy and volunteering hasn't happened. And now that life has slowed down and routine has returned, I am ready to return to volunteering.
I went by Children's yesterday to inquire if the pastoral care department could use a volunteer and was thrilled to get a yes. I went to volunteer services immediately and since I am a returning volunteer they are helping me streamline the process and I'll have my interview on Tuesday! I'll be so excited to go back to work with them. It's a great place with great people where I feel like I can make a difference.
I'm very excited!