giving back

around the holidays i start to get the bug to do some volunteer work.  i wish that i was a better person and it was a year round thing that i could commit too, but i’m not quite there yet. 
i used to volunteer a lot.  in highschool i was active in all the community service clubs and regularly worked at soup kitchens and did canned food drives and rang bells for the salvation army.  i also headed up the ecology club and we did cleanups and recycling drives.  then in college, my sorority did work with alzheimers patients and habitat for humanity among other things.
once i was on my own, it was difficult to find these opportunities.  and i had a lot less time.
but i really started to miss the feeling of giving back.  sending a check to feed a homeless family for thanksgiving every year just didn’t really cut it for me.  i’m the type of person that would rather give my time than my money.  i’ve found that this is fairly difficult to do.
last year i was searching for volunteer opportunities in denver and was discouraged with all the hoops i had to jump though – applications and references?  commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week?  where were the “i have some free time this saturday and can help you out – what do you need?” events? 
i understand the reasoning behind the background checks and minimum hours, i really do.  i just wonder how many people they are turning away who want to help.
this year, i found this fantastic site – volunteer match. so far, I have wrapped presents and helped with a few adoption events at the lifeline puppy rescue.  this weekend j and i will be putting together food baskets for seniors and then helping again at the puppy rescue. 
it’s nice to have something rewarding to do with my time, and lord knows we could use the karma right now. 

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