Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Vent - Please Make A Volunteer's Life Easier

I'm a volunteer. I do it because I think it is the right thing to do. I do it because so many things count on volunteers to get it done. No one makes me volunteer, but admittedly when asked, I have a hard time saying "no".

For the most part, I enjoy volunteering. But it'd be a lie if I said it's always wonderful. Here are a few reasons why, and if you see yourself as one of THESE people, please try not to be. I know you are not doing it on purpose, but please, before I burn out from frustration, I beg of you, STOP.

1. When writing a check: Please SIGN your check. Please also make sure it is written out to the right organization name, not close, not a guess, but the actual organization name. Oh, and please make sure you have added correctly and the check is written for the right amount.

2. When passing along information to me, please make sure it is accurate. I was 30 minutes late on Saturday because I read your e-mail and thought you knew what you were talking about. It was NOT a fun feeling. Apparently, I was the ONLY one who read your e-mail. I felt like an idiot.

3. When filling out a form, FILL IT OUT. If it asks for a size, include it. If it asks for a grade or teacher's name, include that too. Oh, and please DON"T ASK me what size I think you should get or leave a lengthy explanation on the form's margins of why you chose that size or if I think you should change it. Who knows your child's size better than you? Just pick one! 

4. If you say you are going to help. Please follow through. If you're not going to help, no biggie! It's worse for you to tell me you are going to help and then don't, then just telling me you're not going to help. If you tell me you're not helping, then I can account for it, I can work around it and I'm not surprised at the 11th hour that it's not done.

5. If you need me to do something for you, give me a chance to do it. "Tomorrow" is not a deadline I like to hear. If I have made it CLEAR that I need a 1 week notice for that task. PLEASE take it seriously!

6. Remember that I'm a VOLUNTEER. I am not paid to do any of this. I take time out of my busy schedule of work and home and kids and homework to do this. I am not sitting around waiting to do these things. I squeeze it between things, after the kids go to bed and before they wake up in the morning. You forgetting to complete a form or fill out your check properly means I have to contact you. Unfortunately, you aren't the only one who did that, so you are just one of MANY I have to contact. Then I have to contact again, when you don't follow through in helping me to rectify the situation. All of this just causes extra work for me and drains my time away from other things.

So in conclusion, thank you for the support of the many volunteer things that I am involved in. I do truly appreciate it. Just please, take the time to consider the volunteers the next time you participate.


Do you get frustrated as a volunteer? I feel guilty for admitting I do, do you?

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