I’ve been told by folks who know me best that I have a strange way of thinking about things. Well, they might be right. I’ll let you be the judge. Every Friday (or most Fridays, you know how life can be) I’m going to share some of my thoughts with the blogosphere. You decide: Innovative Thinker……or, Girlfriend, you need a little help!
I know when you volunteer you’re supposed to do it as a selfless act of giving. Well, would it be so bad to get a little something out of the deal?
I recently volunteered to pull weeds in the garden of the person who helped my mother-in-law set up a really large garden many years ago. I got so much pleasure from that garden, which was a whole city lot, that I jumped at the chance to work in the garden. But would I have done it if I didn’t get something out of the deal? I don’t honestly know. This was a volunteer day to earn your “badge” for the Building Urban Gardens (BUGs) class I took earlier. I was on the fence about working on the badge, but when the volunteer opportunity came up for Rowan Tree Society’s community garden I figured I’d give it a shot. I was a little surprised to see how many other people were there. The Excelon Group had quite a few of their employees out doing volunteer work. (I wonder if they got something out of the deal.)
The next week I volunteered at the Great perennial Divide sponsored by Open Lands. The call for volunteers included “free plants.” I’m such a sucker for free plants. The Great perennial Divide is a program that supplies free plants to community gardens (even backyard gardeners if they donate plants).
It was an extremely well organized event. You must pre-register in order to participate. I was going to participate as a backyard gardener, but if I volunteered I could kill two birds with one volunteer day (free plants and one more day of volunteering for the BUGS program).
On the morning of the event, the gardeners check in, are given a number, and promptly at 10 a.m. start driving their cars into the parking lot where the plants have been separated into individual allotments. My job as a volunteer was to load plants into vehicles. Approximately 45 cars and trucks were literally stuffed with free plants. So, what did I get out of this volunteer experience? Free plants, of course, but I got the chance to look and handle literally hundreds of plants. (Hmmm. Do I hear a future post? When does a hobby become an obsession?)
While I was loading the plants I ran into Sandra Patterson, a friend of one of the ladies from the BUGs class who also has a large area for community gardening and a club house. She told me that their next project is installing a rain garden in the club house’s back yard and that they need volunteers. What can I get out of the deal? Free education on how to install a rain garden. Yep, I’m more than happy to “volunteer.”
Is it selflessly giving of yourself ….
….or selfishly satisfying an internal desire?
Either way, everybody wins.