Volunteering, Blogging for Good and the Ripple Effect

This month, the Yahoo! Motherboard is dishing on volunteering. The folks at Yahoo asked us, among other things, if we thought there was truth to the rumor of an Obama effect leading to a rise in volunteerism. Apparently, the data support this. Interesting.

There was mention that perhaps the economic downturn opened more time for volunteer efforts. Based on what I observed in my house, I'd say yes.

During his unemployment, my husband helped developed our town's first Farmer's Market (set to open Memorial Day weekend). He built their website, filmed and produced related videos, attended lots and lots of meetings, and weighed in on many critical issues. He would not have been able to commit this kind of time if he'd had a job. And considering that some unemployed men spend their days drinking and surfing the web for porn, I'd say he made the most of his time off.

Late last year, I had an idea for a volunteer project, but wondered how I could justify putting in the hours. Warm fuzzies don't pay the rent, you know! Then I figured that since I was becoming a bat mitzvah in May (less than two weeks away...) it made sense to take on a mitzvah project of my own.

Thus, the Mom From Another Country blog was born. Since late January, I've been meeting weekly with a fabulous group of immigrant moms at our local English Language Learner's (ELL) Parent Center to build the blog. It's wonderful, especially considering that most of the women hadn't heard of blogs before they started writing one.

It's been a great experience and lest you think I'm just blowing my own horn, take a look at this article.

Even better, this week, the moms are stepping up to Fight Child Hunger with a food drive at the ELL Center and other sites around the community to benefit the Niles Township Food Pantry. I love that not only are the women improving their English language skills, but they are building tech skills and stepping up as leaders in the broader community.

It's the ripple effect; it starts with you and spreads outward. What type of waves are you making?

If you are looking for volunteer ideas, check out Yahoo! for Good. Once you've made a commitment, let the fine women at Bloganthropy know what's going on. They might be able to assist in spreading the word or finding resources for your project.

Tired of wasting your time and talent making making copies of the school newsletter? Check out this old post on Volunteering Like a Pro.

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