Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{November 11, 2010}   A little bit country and a little bit rock n roll

I have two senior volunteers who I fondly refer to as Donny and Marie. It’s not that Eleanor looks anything like Donny Osmond. She’s very feminine and attractive,  she  just comes from Manhattan so I refer to her as my “little bit rock n roll” volunteer. Her partner in crime is Sandra, from the corn fields of Indiana and she’s my “little bit country”.

Both met as volunteers in the Friends of the Library Bookshop in our library. Both were new widows and wanted to be active and get out of the house. I set up a training for both of them one day and I’ll never forget the day Country met City. Over the course of a few weeks, I couldn’t help but call them “Donny and Marie”.

They shared stories, they talked, they laughed, they taught one another how to do different crochet patterns. It was a great transformation to see that from such a sad common experience can bloom not only a friendship, but also a friendship from such different backgrounds.

I love talking with them and hearing them laugh, Eleanor with her thick New Yawk accent and Sandra and her Ellie Mae giggle.

People volunteer for different reasons. You always hear or say “I want to give back.” I want to make sure people know that it’s ok to be looking for something for yourself. To fill a void, to make a friend, to get out of the house, to be needed.

When you are truthful about why you want to volunteer, your experience will be that much more rewarding.


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