Now that I’m getting into the groove of working 9-5 (well 9:30-6:30), making enough money to live doing one job, and having the weekends back. I’m starting to get used to being able to do all sorts of things I never imagined. Like go to a movie during the week, or meet my friends after work, and most importantly, spend time on the weekends volunteering.
After hearing about New York Cares, I immediately signed up for an orientation session. Within the hour of the orientation session, I was hooked. New York Cares is involved with so many amazing projects to fit anyone’s interest. You can volunteer at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, animal shelters, assisted living facilities, schools, ESL education centers, or spend a spring afternoon helping clean a park. The opportunities are endless.
This past weekend, I worked on a project (my first!) reading to children at the Auburn Family Shelter. The children were various ages and backgrounds, and it was so much fun to learn a little about them, read to and teach them about different subjects (we talked a lot about Egypt), and then spend some time doing arts and crafts with them. It was a cold Saturday afternoon well spent.
With the current state of the United States (terrifying to say the least), I believe that those of us lucky enough to volunteer and have free time to do so, really should be getting out there and helping our community. We never know what impact we could have on the children we are working with, or what joy we could bring by simply speaking to an elderly person, or helping an animal get out and stretch their legs. And trust me, the feeling you get from giving back to your community is worth it!