I’m not a volunteer. I’m glad there are people out there that do volunteer, but it’s not for me. I’m too lazy.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m heartless (I kinda am), but I do my good will in other ways. I donate money to causes I like. I donate my old clothes/books/furniture/etc. to the Salvation Army as opposed to throwing it out. I give to a few causes on Patreon. Now, granted, I’m getting something back either in the form of tax write offs and/or perks (in the case of Patreon), but I would still donate even if I didn’t get the tax benefit.
Recently, my employer has started this thing called Community Service. Well, it’s not really called that. We call it that. Or Volunforce. Basically all employees are now required to “volunteer” at least 25 hours a year for approved or pre-approved charities and events. I have a LOT of problems with this, which will be another blog post eventually, but as I told Joy, my sister, I’m really fortunate to truly love what I do as well as the people I work with, so if I have to do this, so be it. But, yeah, I do take issue with the idea of it. Anyway…
So far this year, I have 7 hours applied to the mandatory 25. This 7 was earned over in two 3.5 hour spurts volunteering for SOME (So Others Might Eat). Basically, I went to this place where they serve food to those less fortunate, not necessarily homeless, and helped out. There are a variety of jobs to do, such as serving food, taking out the trash, washing the dishes, or, what I did both times, serving coffee. It was an interesting experience all around. Once I learned out how to determine who wants coffee or tea (you just watch for the cups to be raised in the air), I was also told that the people getting the coffee or tea were only allowed to have at the most three sugars or three Sweet & Lows. I think this has to do something about addicts just wanting sugar, but I really didn’t care to ask. All I needed were the rules. I will say, though, those folks that want more than three will act like they don’t know that they can’t have more than three when they see a new face (mine).
Having never volunteered for something like this before, I didn’t know what to expect. But even so, some things surprised me. For instance, I was genuinely surprised on how these folks treated one another. Meaning, no food went to waste. I had expected that, for sure, but I figured it would be something along the lines of people taking with them what they didn’t finish, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, whatever food went uneaten was offered up to whoever wanted it. I don’t know why I found that surprising, maybe because I have such a low opinion of people anymore, but it was pretty…I don’t know. Touching, I guess. Here are some people that have far, far less than what I do, but I get this feeling that they are far, far less selfish than me. Don’t get me wrong, I freely admit I will always be selfish, and this wasn’t a life changing experience, but I was humbled a little.
I should also mention the first time I did the Volunforce for SOME, there was a dude that was dressed just like Raiden. It might have even been him, I was too in awe to ask.
The second time I did SOME, a guy called me over. He was standing against a wall, with no one to his right or left. He mumbled something to me.
Mumble Mumble Mumble.
“I’m sorry, you have to speak up.”
“One more time, brother.”
“I said you look like Abracadabra McKnight!”
“I don’t know who that is.”
“I know you don’t know who that is.”
At this point, the gentlemen turned to his right and started talking to the person that wasn’t there.
“I told you he wouldn’t know who you are.”
“No. No goddammit.”
He was getting mad at this person he was having (from my point of view) this one-sided conversation with, so I walked away.
I’m looking forward to my next SOME trip. I’m not going to lie, I do get a good feeling when I help out. But I also leave with some good stories. So win/win all around, I guess.