Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{January 31, 2011}   Paying it forward…BIG TIME

After my week of homeless volunteers coming in and telling me their very sad stories, I felt connected to one of the little boys from one of the families who was being bullied at his school. We know what happened to one of my other volunteers who was bullied and how that ended. This particular little boy liked playing with my gyroscope that I had in my office so I had a window of time to be able to jet to the store, get one for him, place it in a gift bag and drop it off at his school. Good enough. Good deed. I’d feel good. He’d be happy and all would be well in the world for a few hours of the day or maybe even carry into the weekend.

My mind began to wander and spin as it sometimes does when I’m low on meds, but in the end, he’d love it so much, he’d become a genius in Physics, win the Nobel Prize, the National Medal of Science, and in his speech he’d thank the Library Diva for his start….for believing in him, for giving him a chance…for caring.

I went to the bank and it was there that I discovered in my mad rush of  leaving my office, I had left my Cupcake Design Vera Bradley ID holder. The bank ladies knew me so they cashed me out my $30 bucks. I stopped at the local educational toy store and no gyroscope. I went to 3 other knick knack places that sold toys and such and no gyroscope. I headed to a drug store on the way and no gyroscope…I saw a Dollar General in the distance and still no gyroscope..BUT a few wind up toys which of course are my favorite and he did play with those a bit too although not to the fascination of the gyroscope.

At that point, he was getting a small wind up robot. He could still work for NASA or the space program. I decided not to go straight through the traffic light and made a quick turn, I accelerated over a hill and moved into another turn lane, this time using my turn signal. As I made the turn, I noticed a police officer creeping behind me. I wasn’t concerned at that point, I just knew I didn’t have my license with me so I was being extra careful….and then he put on his lights and I pulled over to a stop.

Following pull-over protocol. I immediately placed both hands on the wheel after I lowered my window and greeted him “Hello, officer”.

No turn signal. Paced speeding 8 miles over the limit. No driver’s license. No proof of insurance…and to make matters worse, if your glove compartment looks anything like mine, 5 years of old registrations, letters, Fast Food Napkins, receipts, mail, photos and condiment packages. I grabbed my stack of papers, old losing lottery tickets spilling over and heard the Officer sigh….”Oh…wow”… I halved the pile and in the center was the current registration.

“… found it~lucky!” He said thrilled.

“Lucky? I’m not so sure!” I replied and he smiled.

He took my name and birthday and back to his car he went. I contemplated my enormous fines.  I looked over at the wind up robot and wondered, was all this fuss worth it?

Back he came with a warning. “Be careful. Slow down. And don’t forget your license. You need that.”

I promised I would. I looked over at the robot. This fuss was so worth it…


{January 27, 2011}   Advice with a Spoonful of Sugar

As a Volunteer Manager, I help a lot of people. And, as I’m assisting them, many feel it’s difficult to just accept the help. They want to give something to me in return. I collect wind up toys, so sometimes I’ll find one of those in my mailbox, if you’ve read other posts, I’ve been offered free tattoos, cookies, free meals, free drinks, moving vans, flooring, even a new concrete driveway, you name’s been put on the table.

Now for ethical reasons, I don’t accept many of these freebies. A wind up toy is thoughtful, a few chocolate chip cookies can and SHOULD never be turned down, but on the whole, I thankfully decline, what I can’t decline though is the free advice that comes across the desk to my ears.

I can’t give their words back to them. As much as I don’t share anything personal with many of the volunteers that come in to my office, I still get advice on my hair, my clothes, my organizational skills, my eye make-up, my shoes, my job, my photos on my desk, my pens that don’t work….my lunch, my glasses, my relationships, my politics, my religion and my reading choices. EVEN THOUGH…none of this was ever brought up by me in the first place.

Recently, I was given (forced upon) the advice of personal fitness. Now, mind you, I work out and try to watch what I eat, but I’m no Jillian Michaels…and the man giving me the advice was  not Bob Harper. This man was becoming a fitness trainer, and was setting up shop in his apartment until he can get some funds to start-up his own gym. He lost 65 lbs in 3 months.  His training is free for now, but he will be accepting donations.  He told me to stop drinking soda, don’t eat after 9pm, no more fast food and go for walks. Easy enough, after that lesson, I didn’t really feel the need to go to his apartment for him to advise me further, but in kindness I added his scrap of paper with his number and name on it to my Rolodex in the “Health” section. He was pleased with that.

I don’t mean to be critical…but sometimes “Biggest Loser” can mean so many different things at one time…

et cetera
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