• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
  • Previously spoken….

    September 2020
    S M T W T F S
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Putting the “giving” in “Thanksgiving”

The past few Thanksgivings have had a common theme: We should go do something. There are many reasons for the volunteering on that day. One, less time with family. Oh! No, she didn’t! Yes. Yes, I did. Also, it’s a day a lot of people have off so it’s easier to coordinate a family volunteer day.

Are you still judging me about spending less time with family? Fine fine fine. Moving along while you judge.

Recently, I visited the local volunteer expo and saw many ideas for “giving” on a holiday.

Volunteering for Thanksgiving

I’m sure not just my local Salvation Army is doing this.  Right?


I contacted Blue Bird Gap Farm, a local city-run farm, and asked about a volunteer day there. They’ll take any help they can get. So, that’s what I’m doing! I’m gathering up those with good backs and helping out there. I was told they can use help painting and winterizing. That sounds perfect.

These are just two ideas. Maybe there’s a soup kitchen or a place doing a meal in your area that can use help. Maybe there’s a shelter that could use help painting or cleaning. Something that all ages of the family can help with, to put the “giving” in “Thanksgiving.”

What do you do for Thanksgiving? What about winter break?

Global Youth Service Day: Get your serve on

Global Youth Service DayI feel like the volunteer numbers are down overall. Who has time to do stuff for free? Well, I believe we make time for what is important to us. That’s probably why I have “no time” for planning my week’s meals. ::cough:: But anyway…. We have Global Youth Service Day coming up on April 26, 2008 and wouldn’t it be great to infect our youth with the volunteerism bug? The great thing about a bug is that it spreads like, well, a virus. Go get ’em!

Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world. Millions of youth will participate in the 20th Annual Global Youth Service Day. VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads is coordinating the project at a local level on Saturday, April 26, 2008 throughout Hampton Roads. Hundreds of middle and high school students will volunteer in their community through environmental clean ups. – Volunteer Hampton Roads

Locally, Volunteer Hampton Roads is looking for youth that would like to volunteer. The deadline to register was April 18, but I bet there’s something to still do! Can’t hurt to try and find something for the family to do together to help our communities.

Community boards want you!

Flowers Did you know that you can help out government organizations by serving on the board of directors? I learned about this from an article by Aimee Hart, Chairman of the Board of the Norfolk Jaycees. In her article, she said that we can apply to be a government appointee to various Virginia boards. I don’t know why but I thought only the elite of the elite or those that know someone can get on those. You know, those secretive meetings held behind closed doors of the board of directors of colleges (as of this writing there is an opening on the Board of Directors of William and Mary) or even on a museum (Virginia Museum of Natural History has a spot).

I enjoy volunteering and have never thought of serving on a board of a government organization until that article. Well, I’ve thought about it but thought I couldn’t until I was over 50 and a business owner or extremely well-known in the community already. But, seems there’s hope for the young and not so well-known! I started researching what boards were of interest to me and found a few. As much as I enjoy my state, I thought starting locally would be best so read my city’s board listing.

Some of the Newport News, Virginia board openings:

  • Animal Review Committee (Veterinarian)
  • Cable Television Advisory Commission
  • Commission on Youth (Youth Representatives Only)
  • Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center Board
  • Human Services Advisory Board
  • Newport News Human Rights Commission
  • Newport News Mayor’s Committee on Disabilities
  • Newport News Public Library Board of Trustees
  • Newport News Wetlands Board
  • Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors
  • North End/Huntington Heights Architectural Review Board
  • Peninsula Agency on Aging
  • Peninsula Institute for Community Health
  • Taxi Advisory Board
  • Towing Advisory Board

What happens at board meetings? How much time commitment is there? Do we get paid? I’m learning the answers. But so far it seems that it really depends on the board. Some meet for a couple of hours a month to go over policy and give suggestions to the leader of the organization. Payment is really rare from what I’ve seen so you should look for something for which you have passion. If the board you want to be on doesn’t have an opening, I’d put in an application for it and wait. Sometimes people have to move and vacate their positions which free up the remainder of the terms for others.

Let me know how it goes!