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  • 1.  What was your first ever volunteer experience?

    Posted 07-09-2021 12:04
    Edited by Alison Randall 07-09-2021 12:04
    A lot of these volunteering posts got me thinking: When was my first ever volunteer experience? I know both my parents were very active in our community and did a lot of volunteering themselves. They would often bring my sister and I along. I think the first memory I have of "volunteering" is from when I was around seven years old. My town had a mini triathlon that went past my house. We lived on a corner and there were signs letting participants know they needed to make a left turn to continue on the race course. There was also an official volunteer stationed at the corner, but I used to stand out there and help direct traffic and cheer people on. I remember feeling good knowing I had helped someone continue in the right direction. I'm glad to have caught the volunteering bug so early on in life. 

    Do you remember what your first volunteer experience was? I'd be interested to hear your story! @Lee Ann Searight @Arnie Grahl @Mandi Ginn-Franz any memories to share?

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    Alison Randall
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  • 2.  RE: What was your first ever volunteer experience?

    Posted 07-12-2021 22:04
    Hi @Alison Randall! From an early age, I was taught to understand the value of service. My parents were active in the community and included me and my siblings in a lot of the projects/work that they did. When I was young (probably around the age of triathon-cheering Alison), I visited a local nursing home each month with my siblings and other kids from our church to sing for the residents there. Truth be told, I didn't like it. At the time, I was very shy and not particularly thrilled about singing for strangers (even though they were a sweet, encouraging audience). But looking back, I realized that it was important: it reminded the residents that they were valued members of the community and that people cared about them. It taught me the importance of volunteering, which I hope I'm instilling in my own kids now.  ​


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    Brianne Haxton
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  • 3.  RE: What was your first ever volunteer experience?

    Posted 08-04-2021 08:39
    Thank you @Brianne Haxton for your honesty about not liking volunteering initially. I have a feeling this could be true for a lot of people. Sometimes you have to try a few different types of volunteering to find your groove. There's something out there for everyone!​

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    Alison Randall
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  • 4.  RE: What was your first ever volunteer experience?

    Posted 03-15-2022 13:18

    Just came across this post on first-ever volunteer experiences and it sent me into my way-back machine. My first experience was similar to @Brianne Haxton's: In 8th grade, our religion class had to go sing for the nursing home residents near our school. Note that I deliberately used the words "had to go sing." The service was imposed on us; I didn't choose it on my own and I'm certain I wouldn't have done it or wanted to do it otherwise, probably like a lot of kids.

    And although being kind and helpful was part of my upbringing, volunteering and service were not, at least not in the sense of going out of our way to do something for others (non-family members) in a selfless fashion. My sisters and I never had to help at a food pantry or otherwise participate in any type of service with our parents, as it seems @Alison Randall and Brianne did.

    And yet, when I look back, both my parents did volunteer work. My mother was a PTA member at our school, working in the lunch room or library, and my father was a long-time board member of Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. They gave back to their community, but they didn't require or overtly instill in my sisters and me the need to do the same. It's probably a generational thing. They were the Silent Generation, and what an apt moniker: Do your work and don't talk about anything. While I believe actions speak louder than words, I also feel drawing children into the conversation enhances those actions and is more productive in the long term. I made it/make it a part of the conversation with my kids, though that hasn't exactly turned them into community activists! (And that's a post for another day!)  

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    Maria Mooshil
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