Volunteering is very rewarding. But can also be quite frustrating and make you want to pull your hair out, or in some cases, other people’s...
Every organization appreciates volunteers, helping their efforts, while not denting their bottom line, always good. Early on you will notice several dilemma’s which can be easily avoided, if anticipated.
The first is the saying “yes” compulsion, yours. They always choose volunteer organizers by their ability at getting that ‘yes.’ “You’re busy? Oh! you can come anytime, early, late, the next day even!” “Laid up with a broken leg? Oh, we can bring the flyers to you! Just fold them and stick them in envelopes!” You need to learn to say no WITHOUT A REASON. “No, but thank you for thinking of me,” END OF CONVERSATION! It may seem brutal, but remember, you have a life too. Only say yes, when you want to say yes.
The second, is when you arrive at the location immediately ask, “Who’s in charge here?” If someone is, let them. If no one is, take over. This is not being pushy! If no one is in charge early, likely, no one will ever be and the whole day will go flooey! Maybe someone will arrive and take over, that’s fine, let them! But, if not, at least there will be a leader, you!
Third and equally important. People always have ideas. Some are wonderful, some not. Always listen to them, never give an opinion (unless the idea is absolutely spectacular!) Just say “That’s interesting!” Often the very people who have the worst possible ideas one time, come up with the absolute best possible ideas other times! It’s weird.
Frankly, volunteering is not for the feeble. But, if you’re the kind of person who is up for the challenge, thank you!