I have long felt a desire to volunteer and help my community. This desire grew out of my time living in Kenya, as part of a exchange program I participated in while I was studying Mission as part of a Bechelor of Theology. Coming home from Kenya, I felt compelled to be involved in my community in ways more than just church involvement.
I have done some volunteering with different groups I was involved with. For example, when I was doing my second degree, I was volunteered at the local soup kitchen with friends from Varsity Christian Fellowship. I haven’t been consistent with my volunteering, but it has always been in the back of my head.
As I continue on the journey of life, I am considering the big picture in relation to societal problems and how I can be more knowledgeable on these problems. The best way to learn about these problems is to volunteer for an organizations involved in impacting.
Two issues I have become more aware that are societal issues are literacy and homelessness.
This fall, I learned that 3 in 5 New Brunswickers are considered to be functionally illiterate. This places me in a unique position. I am a university educated person in a province with literacy issues. I have two degrees with aspirations to do a masters degree. I’m thinking I should use my literacy for good and become involved in an organization that seeks to lessen illiteracy rates in NB.
I worked for 7 years in a downtown Fredericton convenience store, working a variety of shifts including the graveyard shift. I saw the homeless of Fredericton from the perspective of a corporate employee. And in the 7 years at the store, I saw many of the same people on the streets. Even now 4 years after leaving that job, I still see and hear about the same people being on the streets. It’s time for me to become involved in helping those without shelter.
And last year’s earthquake in Haiti has prompted me to think about being involved in the Red Cross learning Disaster Relief.
Disaster Relief: http://www.redcross.ca/
So needless to say, I want to do all but want to be smart about my involvements. I don’t want to become too involved that I become burned out. I want to avoid volunteer fatigue. I also want to be a help to the organizations, by being a consistent volunteer.
Any words of advice?