Have you ever done some volunteer work for your community? What did you do?
Everyone seems to like volunteering. As I said, I gained far more in concrete monetary and dating terms than I ever gave. The Idealist web site lists volunteer opportunities throughout the world.
211 sounds like a wonderful idea. I have so many ideas that never get implemented.
I vowed with donations to church and other groups to stay local and have some access to the books and to the program quality. The Red Cross fundraising fiasco after 9/11 bothered me immensely. People gave for NY and DC, not some remote event in a remote place. I never thought I would do it but I donate to my church organization which sends the money to other charities it checks on to be certain it is ok.
I have to watch myself during those melodramatic dog and cat commercials. All I can think about there go for the grace of God, go my dog. They are so cheesy. I force myself to think of the multitudes of homeless in NYC or abused children. My bro has cerebral palsy and I feel very committed to child abuse. The problem with domestic violence is it triggers me to the point where I am not functional. If antiWitness groups were more cohesive and had a central theme, I would certainly give.
After my witnesses years I spent time on .....me. I still couldn't adjust to a community for a long while let alone volunteering. Then one day I realized that I was part of a community. Artists who travel the country exhibiting in art shows. I also realized that we had no real representation. There were black balling issues (if you complained about a problem) safety and security issues for artists and the public etc. So a few of us started a non-profit association to educate and advocate on behalf of art show artists. Membership averages about 500 artists per year but we have been succesful in inproving the lives of over 12,000 exhibiting artists. I was a founding member and volunteer for 11 years with that group.
When my wife and I retired and moved to our small city of 7,000 I saw that what made this place one of the great small cities in this country was the level and quality of it's volunteers. I was appointed to the board of an historic preservation foundation which is a vital component to the economy of this area.
During the 6 years I've been on this board I have been privileged to become friends with many higly educated, motivated and wonderful people. It is an interesting experience for me, with my limited education (high school) and my JW experiences, to chair a board meeting with 5 PHDs plus 6 with masters degrees. Who woulda thunk it.