Tag Archives: volunteering

repurpose!

30 Jan

What do you do with hundreds of extra race t-shirts? Make tote bags from them of course!

A local non-profit held a 5k that essentially got rained out and lots of racers didn’t show. Result? Gazillions of extra shirts sitting in boxes in a back office. I was looking for a volunteer project for January and viola, say hello to my new gig as a Master T-Shirt Bag Maker. The organization will useTshirt Bags the bags for thank you gifts and goodie bags for sponsors, clients, etc. I think its a really unique idea and cool way to repurpose shirts when original plans for them went awry!

Volunteers are using this tutorial to make the bags and after a couple of practice runs using old shirts of my own, I got the hang of it and whipped out twenty of them. I delivered them today and came home with twenty more shirts to make into more bags. This is a no sew project, or else I wouldn’t be able to help because my crafty skills do NOT extend to needle, thread, or sewing machine.

Mad crafty skills y’all.

thinky thoughts about the new job

14 Mar

Things fell into place faster than I imagined and I start a new job on March 24th! It’s with the same organization but in a different location and department. Hooray!

I am excited but also second guessing myself in the back of my mind about whether or not this is the right choice, because that’s just how I roll. I always agonize over whether I’m making the right or wrong decision about most everything in my life. It’s a curse I tell you. The positive thing is that after I’ve made a decision I know pretty quickly whether or not it was the right one or not. Its like some sort of weird delayed confirmation thing. This new position is definitely a “safe” choice and well within my comfort zone. I know I’ll be good at it and my highest hope is that I will love it and thrive in it.

I think my minimal but existent reservations lie in wondering if I should have held out for something…drastically different. I applied for a couple of jobs that I would put into that category and could still get called for interviews for those. But I don’t like committing to something and then backing out so I doubt I will pursue those now should that become an option.

Anyway, I’m very excited and thankful and happy and all of that. I fully realize how fortunate I am with this new development in my life. I am thinking about balance though. I found a local charitable organization that has some overseas travel options for volunteers and I have my sights set on one of those trips for 2015. I think I’ll feel better about this whole “being fulfilled” thing if I can balance my life with work and more volunteering. I just want to feel good about what I do, ya know? The new gig isn’t saving starving orphans from raging hurricanes or anything, but it is directly involved in medical research, which I know is for the greater good in a more indirect way. And I can definitely be proud of that.

Just thinking thinky thoughts. So hooray for new jobs and new chapters! I do love change ya know.

different eyes

27 Aug

I did the coolest thing Sunday afternoon. And by “cool” I don’t mean that I’m cool for doing it, but rather that it was a cool experience and I got to see life from a different point of view and that gave me pause.

I’m still doing the volunteering thing. I’ve delved into the social media of the wildlife rehab/education organization and am learning lots and becoming more involved with that, behind the scenes. I’m also keeping my eyes open for other opportunities that I’m naturally drawn to for whatever reason. Hunger and homelessness are two huge ones that I’m finding I have a passion for.

Sunday I volunteered with a local food project whose aim is to give access to healthy foods to the homeless and those living in poor communities. Along with three other volunteers, we made and bagged sandwiches, then loaded those on a food truck along with other snacks and fruit. We piled in the truck and drove to a run down hotel known to house indigent residents in an area plagued by crime, drugs, and prostitution. The line was long and the people swarmed us. They were each given a bag of food, some of them eating it right in the parking lot. I suspect it was the only meal many of them had eaten that day. I felt worst for the kids, and there were many.

I found myself thinking about them individually after the frenzy had died down and our food was gone. Each of these people living in that hotel have a story. Some reason for being there, some cause for being in that situation. What made them different from me? One man, a double amputee was in his wheelchair by the curb and waved his hands to get our attention. The food was going fast and he seemed anxious to catch our eye before it was all gone. We saw him and filled a bag for him and took it over. What had happened to him? Was he a veteran? Was he in some sort of accident? Did he have a medical condition that caused the loss of his legs?

I won’t venture too much, or at all, into the political-ness of this issue, although there is obviously a huge social component. What I find most interesting are the individual stories that these people hold. The turn of events that put them in this place, in this moment, living in a run down hotel in a crime ridden part of town standing in line to get a meal.

It could be me standing there. It could be any of us.

the good kind of tired

19 Jul

I’m exhausted y’all. It was my day off but I did anything but relax. I spent three and a half hours baking in the hot sun (sunscreen happened this time though) unpacking/opening boxes of food and then distributing said food to local folks in need and making sure there was enough for the line of people that snaked around Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Then clean up time to restore the parking lot back to its original condition before Mass. I stayed as long as I could until it was time to return to mommy mode. It was pretty fantastic. Next month I’m signed up to prepare and serve meals with a local food project that provides access to healthy foods to the homeless and working poor communities. This is the good stuff.

Fresh Food Giveaway

head meet ache meet perspective

18 Jul

No workout tonight. My head is splitting. Pain. I’m guessing a combo of being a girl (yay, lucky me, men are stupid*, don’t look at me in that tone of voice, etc), and the fact that I ate weirdly and non-healthily today. And did I mention the cramps? TMI? Oh, I’m sorry but this is my blog and I’ll talk about my female issues if I wanna. xoxo. Oy vey.

Tomorrow I’m volunteering at a food drive/giveaway thing for a few hours. I may have a headache but some people don’t have enough food to eat or a roof over their head. So with that humbling thought in mind, I’m popping some motrin and hitting the sack.

Peas n’ carrots.

*I really don’t think men are stupid. However, if I could will them the woman’s-once-a-month-curse I would totally do it. Oh, and childbirth. That is all.

cue annie lenoxx broken glass song

12 Jul

Because I win at life lately, I just spilled a bunch of tea inside the refrigerator and on the floor. Even better, I dropped a glass and it shattered into a million shards of feet shredding danger bits all over the tile floor. I vacuumed but shoes would be a good idea in the kitchen until I can mop and re-vacuum tomorrow. Thought you should know. For those of you coming over for breakfast or whatever.

Ok, enough about my clumsiness. Today was rather weird but instead of discussing that, I’ll just tell you what I did like a good lil’ blogger.

The Accountant was off work today as well and took kiddo to school so I got to sleep in. Heaven. I miss sleeping in so much. I remember before kiddo I’d sleep in till 11 or 12 noon. Heaven. But I digress…

Then it was off to my favorite wildlife rehabilitation place for a meeting with the animal care director. This lady might be one of the most passionate and committed people I’ve ever met. I envy that so much. Knowing that you are doing what you are meant to be doing with your life. Again, digression. I didn’t get a chance to talk with her much at my first visit and this was very productive and she gave me a lot of additional insights into their most dire needs. Which are pretty much volunteers and funding. The lack of serious and committed volunteers is astounding compared to what is needed to suitably run the place. I plan to do what I can to help with the social media but now I’m also hoping to volunteer in other aspects as well. Getting my hands dirty for sure.

Gym time this afternoon was good, if a bit rushed. I took a rest day yesterday and today was cross training. I got in 18.5 miles on the bike, upper body work, and various crunches. I have my Garmin all set up with the running intervals I’m slated to do tomorrow but I’m going to see how the foot feels and will lay off another day or two if necessary. I have connected with a good running group on Facebook set up by a friend of mine from high school and made up of a lot of people from my home county and beyond. We post our runs and progress, local races and results, and general support. Its nice to have that right now. I would like to connect and get involved with the running group in my current city, I just need to do it.

The weekend is pretty jammed with activities to keep minds and bodies busy so I expect the next couple of days to fly by. I welcome that.

training and reading happened, friday plans

8 Jul

Not feeling quite so lame for hitting the snooze button and missing my run this morning because I just did it. Day 1 complete. I’m a hot sweating stinky mess of a girl right now. My training program called for 4 min running/1 min walking for a total of 45 min, plus warm up and cool down. That netted me 3.52 miles. Done and done. Plus I walked the dog another 1.3 miles after. Take that you sneaky snooze button. Tomorrow is a cross training day so I’ll hit the gym and do some arm work and maybe cycle a bit. Onward.

bookI finished The Thirteenth Tale today. It was quite good but not super fantastic like I was expecting. There was a nicely done twist at the end which quieted some doubts I’d had about midway through. I hope to finish Slaughterhouse-Five tomorrow as well. I’m listening to it on audiobook and only have about an hour and a half to go. I’m finding that one a bit difficult and one of those novels that I feel like I “should” like because its all deep and intellectual. Reading reviews and other people’s analysis does help me to understand it a bit better and more clearly see where Vonnegut was coming from. Next I’m moving onto much lighter fare in the form of Tina Fey’s Bossypants. And then I think maybe Chi Running, which I’ve had borrowed from a friend for ages now and I think this is the time to read it. And Let’s Pretend This Never Happened…because, hilarity. SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME!!!!

I will be heading back out to the wildlife rehab/education place on Friday to spend some more time with the Animal Care Director for a more in depth tour and discussion about what their needs are and her expectations. Emails have been heavy over the past few days between myself and administration and I’m pretty jazzed about what I can do to help them out. And they, in turn, are helping me out in ways they don’t even realize. This is good for my brain. I wish I could take my dad out there. I think he would love it. Maybe soon.

And now methinks it’s time for a shower and sleep.

%d bloggers like this: