Want to know how much we suck? Look here. people who actually care
Why are we not doing anything like this? Well, I’m definitely not. I don’t know if you are. We should be. Reading to blind people/helping immigrants do their taxes (what?)/delivering dinner to people with AIDS. I’m working on a segment for metroboxtv see it here
on volunteering, ps, and apparently, there are lots of ways one can use one’s cultivated skills for greater good.
My lame excuses include: I barely have enough time to work/pay my rent/write/ feed myself/keep myself clean; also, my ‘skills’ are limited to the writing of the drama play. So it would go something like:
ME: ‘Hi, the homeless Person. I’m here to help.’
HP: ‘Gee, thanks, generous person. Person of Kind Spirit. That’s great, because I’m homeless, and really down on my luck. What can you do for me?’
ME: ‘Well – I can write you a play.’
HP: ‘What the F am I going to do with a play?’
ME: ‘I don’t know.’
Right. But here is where I must mention what I witnessed this morning as I descended the steps to the G train: a Homeless woman, pants down, no panties, crouching over a pile of newspapers, holding one dirty tube sock, screaming, I HAVE A URINARY TRACK INFECTION.
I sympathized with her need to hold the sock and crotch over yesterday’s AM New York. UTI’s F ing suck, a lot. Try peeing nails. Go ahead, do it.
What also must be mentioned here is my brief stint as a ‘Big Sister’ in high School. I guess we will call this the Only Time I Have Volunteered (excluding brief Girl Scout adventures) Ever. Being a Big Sister meant getting to leave half an hour early one day, every other week, and driving to the nearby elementary school, where we would read to/ hang out with our paired child.
Everyone else got these sweet little mild-mannered kids with rosy cheeks who said the damnedest cute things.
I got the demon spawn. Her name was Jessica, she had ADD, was horribly chubby which made her even MORE inclined to refuse to walk down the hall: she prefered to ‘swim’ on her stomach. Her moods shifted at the drop of the hat from being Obessed with Me (which entailed kissing me all over my face) to Wanting Me to Die (which entailed her Screaming that she Wanted me to Die.)
Maybe it is this scarring event from my late teens that has kept me from Volunteering my time – maybe that I have enough trouble NOT being awkward and maintaining a positive attitude around people I actually know, and things I’m actually getting paid to do.
But people – survey says – 82% of people who Volunteer have a higher self esteem since they started doing so – and feel more relaxed at work. I would enjoy both of these things.
Blind HIV patients in need of a Someone to Read them the Boxcar Children – Here I come.