A few months ago, an outreach group was created at work. This group was formed to find ways to get our name out into the community and have a positive twist to it. We were worried that all we ever did was ask people to give, give, give, but we never really returned the favor (except you know, to put on an awesome nine-day Festival).
Five of us joined this group and we named ourselves… the Street Team. Nice, right?!
One of the first things that was brought up was what volunteer opportunities were out there for us to help with. There was the Blarney Breakfast, held on St. Patrick’s Day every year, that raises money for Rainbows United. They were contacted, we offered our services… and were denied. They denied volunteers! Can you believe that?! Well… partially because they had more than they could handle in the volunteer department and it wasn’t worth having us there at 5:45 (IN THE MORNING!) to just stand around.
So we moved on to Habitat for Humanity, who never turns anyone down! We signed up for the Women’s Build, which took place yesterday. And ofcourse, I signed up. I’ve never been one that volunteered much so I thought that this would be a good start for me.
I still believe that it was a good thing I volunteered. Unfortunately, dirt, cold, hammers, nails (especially NAIL GUNS), saws and Allyson do not mix.
I knew going into this that those five things aren’t my favorite things in the world. In fact, I had just spent a weekend listening to hammer, nails (nail guns) and saws as Matt and Michael tried to finish up our basement. I even had to help out on Sunday afternoon with the trim. And after that small amount of time that I ‘volunteered’ to help fix up my own household, I hated it. There is nothing fun about the above mentioned. I’d rather be cooking for an entire day.
We arrived at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning for the Women’s Build registration and got right to it. They split us up into two groups: half went to work on the roof (I politely declined to stay on the firm ground) and half stayed on the ground to work on the ‘soffit and fascia’ – in laymens terms, the piece of siding that is placed underneath the overhang of the roof.
Now I am one to know my weaknesses and strengths in life. I will be the first one to sign up to design a brochure, buy an outfit for someone, judge cheer tryouts, edit a paper, etc. Those are some of my strengths in life. But when offered to handle a jigsaw or nail gun, I know to say thanks, but no thanks.
Unfortunately, when you are volunteering for a project that requires you to use some of these tools, it’s hard to avoid. Luckily for me, my coworker and half-boss, Sue, had also offered to stay on the firm ground rather than help on the roof and she was very much like me – clueless, confused and cold.
So… we did our part, here and there. We did some measuring. We cheered people on (remember, it is one of my strengths!), and somehow in all of the cold and confusion, we used a table saw and jig saw. And by Noon, our shift was up and our day with tools was over.
The crew that was on the roof came off the roof worn out and starting to feel the effects of sitting on their knees for four-straight hours. Sue and I looked at each other and chuckled, explaining that our morning had definitely not been strenuous as theirs!
So I have put in my volunteer hours at Habitat for Humanity. And if asked to participate again, I will most likely respond with, “I would love to help! Do you have any jobs that require me to buy the hard hats for the crew? What about creating a newsletter for you? Or better yet, do you need me to bring a cheering squad to really keep your builders motivated?”