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With the AGM for our local Multiple Birth Club coming up, I thought I’d take a ‘practical look’ at what it means to be a volunteer. So when I say volunteer, it reminded me of some of my experiences, and when I say volunteer, it got me to thinking, what do YOU volunteer?
There is a common misconception that when you volunteer, you only have to volunteer your ideas…right? Errrrr…not quite. This is only half of the equation, the other half is DOING it.
From an hour a week to several hours a month, you can achieve many great things in your community. Nike I hear you loud and clear…JUST DO IT!
Over time I’ve been left dumbfounded by some of the stories I have heard from volunteers of many different organisations over the last three years. Here let me show you….
Parent rings a volunteer: Hi, I would like to ask when your <insert activity here> is next going to be held?
Volunteer: Every Friday at 10am – 1pm, just bring a plate of food to share.
Parent: OH, I have something else on then, can you hold it on Thursdays at 2pm?
Volunteer: I’m sorry, but this is the only time we can volunteer our time for the <activity>
Parent: Well that’s terrible that you don’t provide a more flexible service for us parents
Can anyone tell me what’s wrong here? Not quite sure? Only see one problem?
Here, let me give you two simple ways that can describe this scene.
1] Telling someone about a situation, without proposing a solution, is only considered to be whining.
2] A picture is worth a thousand words….
I personally love this picture. It truly says it all when it comes to those who are loud on noise, but short on action. So lets look a little bit closer at a volunteer of any committee member on your local Multiple Birth Association.
Description: A parent (male or female), who freely gives up, what precious little time they have, to help other parents who have just entered the Multiverse.
There is no pay…yes we do it for free!
It’s done out of the desire to help others and in memory of those who have previously helped us.
They sacrifice time with their partner, fiancée, husband, wife and / or kids to provide an invaluable service to you.
Presidents, VPs, Secretary, Treasurer, Expectant Parent Nights, Hospital Liaisons, Equipment hire, School Age Multiple Service, Librarian, Meals Programs, Dads Contact, Breastfeeding Contact, Bottle Feeding Contact, Playgroup Coordinator, BBQ Fundraisers, Bake Sales, Raffles, Annual Events, Special Events, Phone Contact, Social Media Coordinator…the list goes on.
So why do it I hear you ask? Well the question should be why can’t you do it?
Right, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of it all…
Why do we do it? If we don’t do it, who will?
Why doesn’t the government, not likely…..come on seriously?
Would you pay for the privilege of a service? Not likely if you’re really honest….
The serious question of why we do anything always stems from the fact that
A] It’s on our radar
B] Because volunteering to do something close to your heart and is fulfilling
C] It’s better than watching Frozen for the 4756463 time…this week
D] You find people in the same circumstances as yourself that ‘get it’
E] This is your only chance to socialise
F] It connects us all
G] Our friends don’t call us anymore
H] We love it
I] You’ll love it
J] You make new friends
H] You still can’t be bothered folding the eight baskets of laundry on the couch
I] It gives you a sense of community
J] What’s that? No screaming kids for an hour or so?
K] The free HOT coffee provided at all meetings
L] After an hour or two you just want to go home and hug out of your little oxygen thieves
M] You can go to the bathroom by yourself….careful you don’t take this to extremes. Some people will actually send out a search party if you’re gone too long….
N] You find ‘playmates’ for your kids that are the same age
O] You can have a good vent/cry/chat with someone who feels your pain
P] Free Tips
Q] You won’t hear the word Mummy or Daddy for a few hours, yes…it is possible.
R] Did I mention HOT coffee?
S] Looks great on your CV
T] Karma will love you
U] Paying it forward and backwards at the same time….beat that…HA!
V] It makes you a better parent
W] It is an official super power….ask what your mates is
X] You won’t have to sing ‘Let it go’ for the rest of the day
Y] you have a legitimate excuse to not have to wash up tonight
Z] Lastly….because parents like you need parents like us….we were once where you are now…
Twenty-four reasons in less than 4 minutes…need I say more? Apparently so…
You are the Who…well not the who but the who, got it? Let me explain
You are the who, that is the glue that allows them to become the who’s who like us. Got it? No? Sheesh…ok…try this…..
Without ‘us’ where would you be?
Who would you ask for help?
Who would understand?
Who can beat something we all call experience?
You are the WHO….got it? Good!
Have you got what it takes to volunteer?