For the holidays this year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I thought I would volunteer. Charities always have too many volunteers during the holidays so it's best to call ahead and schedule yourself to volunteer. I took a little too long to find a charity to sign up for Thanksgiving so I was coming up dry, but when my yoga instructor called a place and signed us up as a class, I had found my turkey day gig. I was going to deliver meals door to door for a few hours with the charity Equinox.
My friend Colleen decided she wanted to volunteer as well so we set up to meet at 11am since my instructor said deliveries of meals would be from around 11am-1pm. This was going to be GREAT! I was a little late for two reasons, one- I am always late, two- I was on the phone with various family members from all over the world all morning. When I got there, Colleen was patiently waiting. She and I went into the Empire State Plaza, where the meals were to be picked up, and saw caution tape everywhere and fold-up tables all akimbo. And very few people... When we found an employee of the charity we discovered that they ran out of food because volunteers to deliver line up starting at 5am. FIVE FLIPPITY DOO A.M. Colleen and I didn't stand a chance. We had no freaking idea! I mean, it's great, wonderful even, that so many people step up on the holidays. But INSANE!! So we helped them clean up and we were on our merry way to our respective celebrations.
I was bummed, yeah. As my mom would say, and she said it, believe me many times, that my heart is in the right place. Okay. Okay. My heart can stay there, I still want to actually do something. But this isn't about me. I had to remind myself that. People were helped and that's all that matters.
In my calling around for Thanksgiving I found out the Capital Region Interfaith Partnership needed help this past Tuesday preparing their holiday dinner. I had vacation time to burn so I took the afternoon off to prepare all the side dishes for the holiday dinner that would take place the following day. I ended up being a little late because one- I am always late, two- I had a morning meeting that went longer than anticipated. So as I left work I called to tell them I was on my way, that I didn't forget. The coordinator- a very, very nice fellow- told me that they had just finished and that I didn't need to head over any longer. ... He told me to show up at 1! It was 1:15! What happened? "Oh, it was a small kitchen so the fewer number of us were very efficient and we just churned it out. But I'll keep your name for the future. Thanks anyway!" Ok. Great. That's great. I literally turned around and just went back to work since I had to work my second job and wouldn't really have had an afternoon off anyway.
Still bummed. My mom reminded me my heart is in the right place. But this also isn't about me. People were helped and that's all that matters. The job got done.
As my dad said, "What does it take to volunteer in this town!?" I don't know Dad. I just don't know. I'm oh for two up in here. BUT! There's a third opportunity to redeem myself. Christmas Eve two friends of mine and I are going to help out at The Ronald McDonald house with last minute Christmas things such as gift wrapping, gift delivery and other preparations. Again, I'm very excited. What can I say, I'm excitable! I'm going to be there right on time. I WILL NOT BE LATE. NO WAY. I will leave early and I will not call anyone within three hours of when I need to be there. This will happen! And if it doesn't- if I arrive on time and everything is done- then what needed to be done got done. People were helped. And that's all that matters.