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Posts Tagged ‘volunteer’

Livestrong

We had a volunteer expo today at work where several non-profits set up booths to try to recruit volunteers. The Backpack Buddies brought empty backpacks for us to fill, which was fun, and some group promoting weatherproofing had us fill buckets with things like caulk, insulation, and weatherstripping for them to give away in Durham (…I didn’t ask). I’m a bit strapped right now, and my company doesn’t give us free volunteer days like another place I’ve work, so I was mostly there to pack a few backpacks and poke around.

The YMCA had several tables. A couple of ladies tried to talk me into mentoring/tutoring, but I enthusiastically told them that I’m a horrible teacher. That’s something I learned in the Peace Corps. Good teachers have dozens of ways to explain the same concept. I have one or two, and if the kid doesn’t get it after that, I get frustrated and then angry. Not at the kid, but at myself and my inability to communicate well. Some people are great teachers. I am not. And that is okay. So long as I know it and don’t try to teach anymore. 😉

Anyway, one of the YMCA tables was about their Livestrong program. They have free 12-week exercise programs for adult cancer survivors (where “survivor” means you have survived the diagnosis, so these folks are in all stages of the disease). There’s room to volunteer as an exercise mentor, so I would basically hang out with the trainer and act as support for folks working out.

I don’t know if you know it or not, but I’m really into fitness. I’ve been working out seriously for almost a decade now (holy cow!), and while I’m not a certified trainer, I know my way around and can help folks with proper form, etc. I was talking with the lady there, and she said that if this was something I was interested in and showed myself to be a good volunteer, they might even be willing to put me through personal training certification as well as the certification required to train cancer patients. How awesome would that be?! She said there’s an evening program that’s twice a week from about 7-8:30 or so, which might just fit into my impossibly busy schedule. It would be a great way for me marry what I know about fitness with what I’m learning about caregiving.

The lady mentioned that she’d love to tap my brain about ways to care for the families. She said that the biggest concern for their participants is that their families be cared for as well. I said that the biggest problem my dad had was how to get out of the house. Lots of friends had volunteered to stay and sit with mom, but it’s more serious than just coming and sitting in a chair…there is some care involved, and there are a lot of things you need to know and be aware of before you can be left alone with mom. This lady said no one had mentioned that before, but they might be able to start up a training program for volunteers, give them background checks and all that, and then offer their services to caregivers. I think that’s a great idea. Hospice does something similar, and I think dad’s going to start tapping into that resource, but I think a ton of people would get value out of a volunteer program like that.

Anyway, that’s all from me today. No real updates on mom, other than she doesn’t want to eat anything and is having some personal issues that aren’t very blog-appropriate. I’m still due to go over there tomorrow. Dad said most of the chores have already been done, so I don’t know what I’m going to do all day. Work, I suppose! 😉

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