Remember one of my 30 before 30 goals was to reach 200 volunteer hours? I have been horrible at tracking those hours. Even with that said, I am nowhere near my goal or where I should be in order to reach my goal, but the last couple of weeks have definitely made a dent.
I have joined the United Way Committee at work and my role was to organize a breakfast series to help increase participation in pledging to the guys who work mostly outside of the office. This was an incredible learning experience for me. Making sure I had breakfast for up to 100 guys at any one time, a guest speaker who was allotted at most 10 minutes to rev up emotion in the guys and motivation to donate, prizes for those who pledged the day of their breakfast, and looking bright and cheery at 6:30 a.m. AND do this 6 different times over a two week period helped me develop even more organizational skills, leadership skills and make connections within my company with people I normally would not deal with on a day to day basis.
Although it started out a little bit rough, we held the final breakfast last Thursday and it went the smoothest as well as generated the most participation AND the highest amount in pledges. AND the exciting news with all of this too is that my company is now being considered for an award from the United Way for motivating field workers to participate (the overall participation rate from the Breakfast series is significantly higher compared to other organizations within the industry). :) On Friday, I received an email from the head of the committee and a VP in the organization congratulating me on a job well done. Pretty Super Penguin Awesome!
So, not including the prep organizational time for these breakfasts, each breakfast had me donating approximately 2 hours. So that is another 12 to add to my 2011 total.
And this week, I volunteered at the Dream Centre radiothon again for 2 hours answering phones, taking people's pledges and donations. The Dream Centre raised just over $90,000 this year which is incredible! Especially with the new Distracted Drivers Law in Alberta not allowing people to talk on their cell phones while driving. Before going to the radiothon, I was worried that this new law would deter people from calling in as most people listen to the radio while driving. That said, I did speak to a lot of kids who were speaking on behalf of their mom or dad while being chauffeured. The Dream Centre is a wonderful organization that I truly love supporting. They help men transition from living on the streets to learning the ropes to live the life they dream of. Listening to some of the clientele's stories were heartbreaking, inspiring, and filled me with gratitude for what I have in my life.
To finish off my hardcore weeks of giving back, today I helped a friend at her garage sale where all proceeds went to the MEOW foundation - an organization in the city that takes in stray cats, provides them with their shots, spays or neuters, and socializes them, then helps them find forever homes with the right owner. This organization has a no-kill policy and will attempt to find a home for every cat. Right now, they need a new shelter, so are busily raising funds so that these cats all have a safe place to stay while their human soul mate is being found. The garage sale today was crazy busy! So many people donated items, and even more people stopped by to shop. I loved that many people left their change with us instead of bartering for a lower price. I am not sure of the total yet, but the goal for the weekend was $2000 and we surpassed that by 2 p.m. today. That is another 8 hours to add to my 2011 total!
Have you been keeping track? In the last 2 weeks, I have volunteered 22 hours (give or take, I do have to tally up the United Way meeting hours and other minutes I spent on this project for work, so the total is probably a bit more). Not a bad little dent to add to my progress bar.
If only I could do this to my savings as quickly.