This post is the last in a series regarding volunteering. My intent was to walk myself (and my readers as well) through the planning process that would mean I could make a difference from where I’m at. Step 1 was identifying the causes for which I care. Step 2 was assessing what skills I could bring to the table (or not). Step 3 was brainstorming for concrete actions that I could take. This last post is the most difficult, as is this step – turning belief into action.
I’m a great planner. I can break down a process, determine the steps and find solutions. Where my weakness lies is in NOT planning for those unmotivated or crazy busy or “I’ve got the flu” kind of days. You know – life. I can easily get derailed and am a classic procrastinator. I could meet all of the goals I set for January on the 31st, but one of the points of this whole process is to integrate that sense of belonging to a large community and doing things that make a difference on a regular basis.
Goals for Volunteering/ Donating for Children’s Issues in January
What steps are required to bring each goal to fruition? What are the obstacles? What are the tools I need to overcome the obstacles?
Select an organization which works on children’s issues and make a financial contribution.
- This is relatively easy and perfect for next week, as I’m tired and have a busy week ahead. No obstacles, barring an internet crash.
Using grocery money saved by cooking meals and purchasing fewer processed foods to purchase food & needed items for food shelf.
- Cooking meals requires planning. I have to plan family meals for the week before getting groceries. The obstacles? Not having time to plan or cook. I need easy standbys like fresh fruit and veggies, pasta or my favorite – breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, fruit).
Teach my child more about charity by helping her to sponsor a child through the Save the Children organization.
- Another relatively easy task for next week. Obstacle? Following through beyond the actual financial donation: exchanging correspondence with sponsored child. I am hoping my daughter will be enthusiastic enough to carry this particular goal and I’ll encourage her.
Continue volunteer work through my daughter’s school.
- I have to meet with other volunteers and school officials in the next few weeks regarding the walk-a-thon I’m chairing. Obstacle? Meetings and I can get ugly. My personal goal is to stay focused, polite and attentive. I might need copious amounts of caffeine.
Research the issues affecting children and write my state and congressional leaders regarding current legislative actions.
- This will take some time and writing skills. Obstacle? Time. I need to take the time to carefully read and digest the issues. Emotions. Some issues are painfully difficult to take in. I need to break this goal down into weekly manageable segments, with letter writing planned for the last week of January.
Lastly, planning for the next month has to happen. February is my month for the elderly. I will post an update of how I did in January and outline the February plan in a few weeks.
The point of this series was to walk through the process of determining what you can do to make a difference. Your choices, abilities and financial status may all be different, but the process is essentially the same.
Decide what you care about most. Think about what you are able to do and what you like to do – your skills, your income, whatever it is. Brainstorm for concrete ideas by looking for the opportunities around you: in your neighborhood, community, schools, churches and online. Think through your lifestyle, time constraints and the steps required to make something happen. Look at the obstacles and decide what tools you’ll need to counter them.
My intent for 2013 is to be more deliberate in my contributions, both financially and as a volunteer. I have a plan. Now, time to take action.
Tune in tomorrow for the 1st Prize entry to The Green Study Holiday Humor Contest!