Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giving up my time for Lent

I was thinking all day yesterday about Lent and what it means for people. I have seen on Facebook status updates announcing that they are giving up carbs, sweets, money, etc. I don't eat too many carbs so I don't have a lot to give up. I eat sweets sparingly so there goes that. I give money over the year to various police/firemen charities, so that's nothing new. This year, I have decided to give up some more of my time than I have to those who need it. This could be my past-New Year resolution too. And, I'm putting it here to hold myself accountable.

So, here are the people I will be giving some of my time to this year (not just for Lent):
  1. Neighbor Ride: 2 years ago, I joined as a volunteer. I participated weekly, sometimes twice a week, sometimes once every 2 weeks. But, I had a couple of regulars and I enjoyed doing what I did. Especially when a very sweet old man told me this was the only way he could see his wife of 57 years who was in a hospice becuase he couldn't drive and his kids were too busy. Then, last year, some things happened (surgery, accident, another surgery), and I fell behind. Then, we went to India and I forgot about sending in my insurance stuff so I could be an active volunteer again.I need to get back in there, send them my DL and insurance papers and we are good to go again.
  2. Habitat For Humanity Chesapeake: I will be doing one-on-one financial budgeting sessions with fmailies who have been approved for assistance. When I left my first life behind and moved in with my uncle and aunt, I had awful credit, bad debt and no money to my name. The most important life skill I learned from them was finances. How to keep track of what you earn and what you spend, how to set up a budget and stick to it and how not to live paycheck to paycheck. I think, partly because of what they taught me, Jeff and I are credit card debt free now. And, I would love to share my personal experiences and knowledge with somebody who needs and can benefit from them. I will be meeting with the volunteer coordinator and attending a session as an observer this Saturday morning at 8:30.
  3. Domestic Violence Center of Howard County: For 2 years now, I have also been trying to get into the volunteer orientation at Ruth's House in Baltimore, which is a shelter for abused women and children. Their offices aren't accessible enough to me, the orientations are at weird times, etc. I have had every excuse in the book to not have made it there. This is something I have wanted to do for so long I can't remember when I started thinking about it. I never talk about it but there was a brief stint of domestic violence in my life years ago (before Jeff and I knew each other) and it's left an imprint. I have found a place that caters to abused women and children in my county and I have no excuse to not do something. I will be attending the March 9th volunteer orientation and hopefully find some useful way of helping them.


anjuli said...

About the domestic violence/abused women, I've been thinking about it for a very, very long time as well. Never really got far though after I did some research last year. Maybe something I can look into again as well.

Syl (previously known as Shib) said...

Come to the Howard Count orientation with me