Pull Up a Pew

Yeah, I know, it’s an unusual place to gather and chat. But Josh’s Vacation Bible School (Pandamania) started tonight, and I spent a while hanging out with some of the moms there and admiring the awesome decorating that went into turning the Sanctuary of our local Lutheran Church into the Chinese Forests that play host to a bunch of Pandas. I enjoyed it even more because this is one of the few things that Josh is involved in that I didn’t volunteer for!! So, pull up a spot and chat. About what? I’m not sure…

How about…

Volunteering, since we’re in church, and churches revolve so strongly around their volunteers. What do you volunteer for? A lot? A little? Nothing? What’s your favorite job to volunteer for, and what do you hope they NEVER try and recruit you for?

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15 Responses to Pull Up a Pew

  1. Ellen says:

    I am not volunteering a the moment. I am so impressed by this country how volunteering (helping another) is so integrated in the American society. Before I got a job here, I volunteered in the hospital at the infodesk. I loved it! Then out of the blue, after 1 1/2 year sending tons and tons of applications, I got a job at that same hospital and a job at the school district. So, if there is one immigrant that is super grateful in this country, than it’s me! 🙂

  2. SKL says:

    I have to admit that I’m not too proud of myself these days when it comes to volunteering. I used to do a ton of it – hundreds of hours per year – so my standard is pretty high. I tried to keep it up after my kids came home, but I ended up dropping off the boards one by one, and saying “not this time” to a lot of the hands-on stuff I used to do.

    Well, to be honest, part of it was being fed up with some of the BS. Let’s face it, some people on board leadership are there because it looks good on their resume. They will vote based on what will benefit them and their personal power goals. Once they get into the leadership role, it’s not fun any more. You see the organization turning against itself, and people getting hurt along the way. I left some boards with both regret and relief. And then there was the one where catty women ruined it for everyone, and the one that insisted on holding meetings at 6pm, which is when I have to go get my kids from daycare. I did stay on one active board.

    As for hands-on volunteering, it’s hard to find a project where it’s appropriate to bring toddlers along. We’ve done a few things, but nothing compared to my pre-kid days. However, this year I am planning to bring my kids to a Thanksgiving food-packing thing for my favorite local charity. And we’ll go from there, as the kids get older. What I won’t do is those “walks” and such, because I don’t feel like walking from point A to point B actually does anybody any good, unless it’s a march on Washington. I would rather give money to a worthy charity and go about my business.

    I have no desire to be a volunteer for anything my kids are in (e.g., PTA, Sunday School). I just don’t relate to that whole scene. I have nothing in common with most moms, and I’m always short on time anyway. Or maybe I’m just old and crotchety. Whatever! I would rather contribute cash and let others contribute time. (I did do a fair amount of that when I was a college student and caring for my kid sister – but that was a loooooong time ago.)

    One thing I did enjoy and would like to do again is tutoring in the public schools. Finding time for it is the issue. Maybe someday.

    Anywho. Funny you should bring up church. We have skipped church for the 2nd week in a row. Really busting butt as we wind down to the “big deadline.” My nanny suggested a sleepover (the girls’ first) at her house last night, and I agreed, though I wasn’t totally ready for that! All went well, though. Unfortunately with work, everything is taking longer than expected. I am still getting little sleep, and it gets harder each day to keep going. Looking forward to Wednesday, 5pm, and hoping that all goes smoothly until then.

    • Laura says:

      I’m afraid I’m one of those, SKL, who uses her volunteer work to “pad” her resume. Although, in my defense, I choose things that I know I will be good at, that I have experience with, and that I know I will be an asset for. Seems like a no-brainer to choose things that way, though. Why would you choose something that you hate, just because it looks good? How can you be useful, if you’re not enjoying what you do?

      My current “jobs” include being Asst. Cubmaster (which means that the bulk of the planning/paperwork for events falls to me) and Advancement Chairman (the person who tracks and hands out all the awards) for our Cub Scout Pack, the member of the PTO who does the bulk of the grant writing (I’ve done one!! WOOHOO!!), and Co-Chairman of our annual Silent/Live Auction event held every spring to raise money for the school. Those are the biggies. I do little things throughout the year, too. One-off stuff, like helping to set up/tear down for other fundraisers and functions, stuff like that.

      • SKL says:

        Nothing wrong with doing something to build and demonstrate experience. What I’m talking about is folks who lose sight of their fiduciary duty because of personal gain. For example, one of the boards I was on was for the “umbrella” literacy organization of the area. It was basically a servicer to the hands-on literacy nonprofits, providing tutor recruiting, tutor training, learning materials, seminars, etc It was the only organization like it in our area. Then one day a huge foundation in the city decided to take over our role. They hired a consultant who had worked with us in the past, paid her to tell all our info, and unilaterally decided for the community that we should either close or merge with them. They also made it very clear that our Executive Director would have to be fired. Needless to say we did not agree – at first. Gradually they started working on our board leaders. Pressuring. The biggest foundation around, offering them a seat on the big board if they would vote to close our organization. I fought it. They moved all the board meetings to a time when I could not attend. Eventually I quit. In no time, they fired the Executive Director. You’d think the new organization was chomping at the bit to take over our work in the community. But the thing is, that organization was in no way ready to do so, and still, years later, is not. So there is a big gap and they don’t care. The ex-board leaders don’t care.

        The whole thing just put a bad taste in my mouth. It will take a lot to get me to serve on another nonprofit board.

  3. Nikki says:

    I really only volunteer my time to our baseball association. I’m almost always on field crew, and what ever fundraisers they have during the season.

    I wish i could volunteer more time with the school, but having kids full time makes that hard.

    • Nikki says:

      Ha…I hit comment, then realized it’s the Pull-Up Monday and not just a question!

      This weekend was really good, but busy. I really missed Jason though. We always have plans together and this weekend we didn’t even really see each other. I had parties to go to, and he was in charge of a tournament we were hosting. We turned cell phones off, didn’t answer the house phone and just relaxed on the couch watching movies all Sunday night.

      We have a busy week ahead, and then I think Saturday is free (as of now)…so that is what I am looking forward to. Maybe some time on the boat! 🙂

  4. Joy says:

    I’ve been having a good Monday so far. I’ve almost finished mowing the south side of the yard and it’s a nice hot one out. Not too humid. I’m crossing my fingers for the weigh in tonight. I’ve exercised all week, every day and haven’t dropped one pound but my body is different than it was last week. I can wear a pair of capri’s today that I couldn’t zip up last Monday so something’s going on so I’m not going to worry about it. If I’m losing inches instead of pounds this week, so be it. It feels so good to be able to wear old clothes again. I shall NOT give up.

    It was a busy run around weekend so I’m kind of enjoying my day. Paul took my mom for her radiation appt this morning because she has two appts on Wed and her new furniture comes so I’ll spend the whole day in there. That was nice of him. Thanks to Paul.

    Friday is my mom’s birthday and I think my brother will come out and we’ll attempt a round of golf. She’s pretty weak but it’s what she wants to do so we’ll try. If my brother is the only one who golfs, at least the three of us will spend the day together and we can drive around in the cart.

    Everyone have a good day and a good week.

    • Laura says:

      Keep up the good work, Joy… It’s excellent that you’re not focusing soley on pounds, as your body will fluxuate… flucxtuate…flu..CHANGE from time to time, depending on water, hormones, etc. (I’ve been doing a LOT of reading, prepping for my next go at it).

      I’m sure you are quite the hottie by now!!

    • Vicki says:

      I think if im lucky i lost maybe one pound this week and my body don’t feel slimmer. lol(thats what the scale reads right now we both know that all can change come weigh in time)
      I think i came close to a heat stroke one day last week while out mowing so now im watching myself and taking breaks more often when out mowing in this heat. I have not been very motivated this week. 😦

    • Joy says:

      As of right now, I weigh to the ounce the same as last Monday so at least I haven’t gained BUT I did have incentive and I have worked hard so something is happening inside. It’s kind of a bummer but thank god I tried those capri’s on last Sunday or I wouldn’t know how my body has changes. I actually tried them on before Julie’s shower. I go more by my clothes than the scale but this in the challenge, it’s all about not gaining and it’s gotten me off my butt so I’m not going to complain.

  5. Laura says:

    Well, my morning started out so-so. I took Josh to the park, working on getting him to ride his bike without the training wheels. Yep, he’s almost 8, and still has training wheels! My excuse is that we live on a dirt/gravel road, and it’s very difficult for ME to ride on that, with my mountain bike. So I take him to the park, where they have a bike path, so he can ride on the smooth.

    On top of it, he has absolutely invested himself in the fear of it – he’s absolutely sure that he’s going to fall over, and as he gets older, he’s more invested in that fear. So we’ve (I have) decided that we’re going every morning this week. He rode several feet on his own today – it’s just a matter of building up that confidence. I think if he does it each day, he’ll get it. I hope. He needs this – all his friends are rocketing around town on their bikes, it’s time for him to join them.

  6. Vicki says:

    I volunteer id say a lot with our county sheriff’s dept. I am what they call the Mounted Posse(MCMP), we do search and rescue on horse back, evidence search, secure areas, lots of parades, trained for crowd control, security amongst a lot of other things. We train for a variety of things and scenerios, we also train others for the exact same things, put on clinics etc. We do national night out, county fair things, sometimes help in other counties when requested, such as Wadenas big tornado last year…… blah blah i could go on and on i think..LOL 🙂
    I do enjoy doing most of it. At times it can be a huge adrenaline rush and rewarding.

  7. Sue says:

    Ahhh church…I have not been a very good Catholic lately! (Ok, for quite a long time now!) We did go 2 weeks ago when it was blasted hot and humid and Trinity almost passed out so I skipped this week! I know, not a good excuse. As far as volunteering goes, I do a couple of things. I was a volunteer basketball coach last winter for Trinity’s team and that was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to doing that again this year. Trinity is also in 4-H so I volunteer with different activities for that too. I’ve always been shy when it comes to volunteering b/c I hate raising my hand in front of everyone. I hate everyone looking at me! I would much rather go up to the head person after the fact and say “Sign me up!” I’m not one that needs to be in the spotlight like that. I can’t stand those people that are only there b/c it looks good. And I don’t mean what you did, Laura b/c I think you truly liked doing it. I mean those people that have the “I’m better than you” attitude and is all snooty to the other volunteers. Volunteering is not about you, it’s about the people or organization you are helping out. Trinity LOVES to raise her hand and help out and that has helped me to be more proactive about it.

  8. Phyllis says:

    I volunteer at my church. They can always count on me to be a “helper” rather than an organizer. I don’t do things in the town where I live, and I NEVER volunteer at store where I work. I’m rather intimidated by the rest of you LOL!

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