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Volunteerism and FIRE
Old 11-17-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
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Volunteerism and FIRE

Do you volunteer any of your time now that all your time belongs to you?

We are in a very rural area but we have our own radio station. As far as I know we are the only all volunteer station on the air in the state, though many community stations have a core staff but still rely on volunteers. I've always wanted to be a DJ and it's been a blast having a radio show and helping out in getting things done.

Just wondering what other folks are doing. Collectively we have a lot of manpower here
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:32 AM   #2
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I volunteered for awhile at Habitat for Humanity. When it started to seem like a job, I quit. I volunteer for other activities on my own schedule, as I want to. Key is not having a set schedule, for me.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:36 AM   #3
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I volunteered for awhile at Habitat for Humanity. When it started to seem like a job, I quit. I volunteer for other activities on my own schedule, as I want to. Key is not having a set schedule, for me.
That's the key to me. If there is some expected minimum hourly requirement or set days/hours to volunteer, then to me it is "work", albeit unpaid and something I generally feel good about doing (when I want to).

If I can (within reason) come and go as I please, when I feel like helping out, then I'm likely to stay with something.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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Wife/me both volunteer for Meals on Wheels (different days, different routes). We also deliver on days that other folks are usually unavailable (such as Thanksgiving, this year).

In addition, my wife volunteers with different church related groups, such as food bank (2 different ones), nursing home "entertainment" (singing group) and other opportunities to many to mention.

There is always a need for help, regardless of your level of commitment. Additionally, it feels good to "give back".
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:37 AM   #5
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I volunteer with our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. I put together science classes for seniors. I recruit speakers from the local university for science classes. I can do it on my own schedule and it allows me to keep my hand in science and meet some very interesting faculty and students. I also volunteer on their curriculum committee.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:42 AM   #6
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I began my volunteer work back in 2001 when I first switched from working full-time to part-time. In fact, I knew months before I actually made that switch I would be able to do that volunteer work (with the National Scrabble Association's School Scrabble program - see my screen name?) so I kept the application form around for more than 6 months.

Over the years, I have expanded my volunteer work with the NSA's School Scrabble program such as running small tourneys (I will be running run this week).
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #7
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I'd probably like to do some volunteering after I retire, but not for at least a couple years. The first couple years after I quit, I want it to be "me time".

I want to move back to the Rockies somewhere and do all those things I've missed out on...hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowboarding, photography, getting my pilot's license, etc...

I want to decompress and enjoy life and be on NOBODY else's schedule for a couple years. No projects, no deadlines, no responsibilities, no deliverables.

Even after that, if I started volunteering, it needs to be something that's not schedule driven. If there are deadlines I have to adhere to, forget it. If there's any chance of somebody "having a talk with me" because I missed something, forget it. If it feels like a job, forget it.

I'll volunteer at something because I want to help, not to feel like an employee again. I will have already walked out the door once as an employee, I'd just have to do it again.
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #8
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I worked as a senior peer counselor for a couple of years, but the required monthly meetings and the required meeting reports began to feel like w*rk; more important,
I found myself increasingly wanting to travel and not be committed to weekly client meetings any longer.

I left the program at the end of 2012. I may return at some time, but for now, I like not having any commitments at all.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:22 PM   #9
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I volunteer a lot. I already was very active in church and other community activities even before I ER'd. When I pulled the plug, I said YES to too many things and got overcommitted to the point where it started to feel like a burden. I've wound a few things down this year but have 2 more years on the United Way board and 3 more years on a church denominational governing body committee.

Interestingly, I'm finding a similar pattern with my volunteering as with my career - I get bored after 2-3 years (in 31 years of w*rking my average assignment was about 2.5 years even though I only w*rked for two companies). So I'm already starting to investigate totally different areas to get involved with when those two major commitments are complete.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:57 PM   #10
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I am still working but hubby does a fair amount of volunteer work. He knew long before he retired that he would volunteer in an area he is passionate about. He is very firm about not taking on Board leadership roles or administrative roles although he is frequently asked. He is my role model for knowing how to say "No"! He is picky about his volunteer roles but then gives generously in the volunteer work that he chooses.
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:21 PM   #11
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TaxAide - run two centers in my county. We do about 500 tax returns a year. I also somehow got suckered into doing tech support for 10 other centers in other counties. Keeps me off the streets.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #12
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Volunteer... Until age 55, 35 years in scouts, and church youth group leader /advisor.
Early retirement years SBA volunteer... Lectures, classes.
After that, in retirement communities... tought computer classes, helped older residents with coping.... finances, house repairs, stc, and ran or helped with plannning and running social events, as well as emceeing parties.
After age 75, started cutting back, so no scheduled volunteering, though, am still a go-to person for helping out or repairs.
Am now pretty much schedule-free.

I never make judgements about volunteering... should only be done if it's satisfying... never as a chore.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:55 PM   #13
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Volunteer with hospice and it is incredibly worthwhile. Right now, i only have two patients, but that number fluctuates. I have been privileged to meet some incredible humans and it is seldom sad. Also do Meals on Wheels twice a month. Together, these two opportunities take very little time - 10-15 hours/month. They add much to my life.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:59 PM   #14
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Volunteer "money counter" at church.
Volunteer tax preparer during tax season.
Volunteer sea turtle transporter when I can fill a need.
Volunteer blood donor (platlets) will miss my 24 donation goal this year, will try again next year. (I'm still trying to get to 20 donations)

I agree with Imoldernu, although sometimes the chore aspect may raise its head, but the satisfaction of getting the chore done makes it worthwhile.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:03 PM   #15
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VITA volunteer here, doing taxes for low income and elderly for three and a half months out of the year. I enjoy helping people and 95% of peoples tax situations are pretty simple. Also like the social and camaraderie of working and interacting with the other volunteers and public. Usually do about 20-30 hours a week.

Actually I do it to get out of the house and away from DW since it is too cold to golf.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #16
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VITA volunteer here, doing taxes for low income and elderly for three and a half months out of the year.
I did this for the first year after I'd retired but I'm embarrassed to say that it felt too much like work, so now the only volunteer work I do is here as a moderator on the site. The hours are very flexible and I work from home and from wherever in the world I happen to be.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:01 PM   #17
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I did this for the first year after I'd retired but I'm embarrassed to say that it felt too much like work...
Same here. I did the VITA gig the first year after retiring and couldn't wait for April 15 to arrive so I could quit.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:17 PM   #18
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DH is volunteering at a fledgling brewery in town and loves it. Even wakes up early to get there on brew day! He has always wanted to see how beer was made and he's thrilled to get the chance to "work" with these guys.
A perfect fit for him, since he can work when he wants and they are grateful for the extra free hands on their small startup budget.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:24 AM   #19
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I did the AARP Tax Aide last year and enjoyed it. As with most volunteer gigs there is always more time needed then volunteers.

The request here was for 2 -4 hour shifts a week. I signed up to do 3 4-hour shifts. Getting into though the 4 hour shifts tend to be more like 5 or 5 1/2.

Actually really enjoyed doing the work and meeting the people. Already signed up for the coming tax season.

AARP not only does seniors but also 'low income'. Unfortunately the low income does not have a definition, except that certain tax situations or forms are not handled by AARP.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:46 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
DH is volunteering at a fledgling brewery in town and loves it. Even wakes up early to get there on brew day! He has always wanted to see how beer was made and he's thrilled to get the chance to "work" with these guys.
A perfect fit for him, since he can work when he wants and they are grateful for the extra free hands on their small startup budget.
I do Meals On Wheels a few days a week, but I could easily see supplementing that with an unpaid internship at a local brewery. "Pops On Hops!" Yeah, that's the ticket! {Insert smiley here}
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