Thursday, April 07, 2011

Volunteering—A Way to Play


While Supporting People Who Care About the Sacred Feminine

I grew up thinking volunteering was where you got to play, so I’ve been volunteering most of my life. My volunteer activities were where I got to do what I loved for something I believed in, while enjoying new experiences with people that shared common interests, and without the pressures that can come with a job. For me, that’s a way to play.

I started volunteering when I was a kid. In fact, my whole family volunteered, primarily for our church. My parents had a strong belief that when a group gives something valuable to you that you enjoy receiving, it is appropriate to give something back. My family didn’t have a lot of money, so we gave what we could afford and then gave even more in time and energy.

My entire family sang and most of us played guitar, so you could find my brothers and sister and I singing in, and eventually leading, the folk group at church. Later that experience turned into paid work as a vocalist at weddings, and those experiences gave me the courage to become a stage actress.

When I became a special education teacher, I volunteered some of my time to help non-profits create education programs. Later I leveraged my teaching skills along with the volunteer experiences to land a job where I created a comprehensive education program for an expanding organization.

The marketing skills I learned while I was creating the education program combined well with volunteer marketing work for theater and dance companies to help me acquire a better paying job a few years later.

More than once in my life, simply volunteering to do something I loved turned into experience that helped me create income later on. I didn’t choose to volunteer just to get job experience, but it always seemed to happen. The skills that I learned volunteering have helped me: 1) acquire jobs; 2) qualify for better paying positions; or provided me with 3) skills for running my own business.

And I all I had to do was play!

When someone talks to me about volunteering at New Dream Foundation, we begin the conversation by discussing what they enjoy and what they hope volunteering might do for them. I know that if someone is going to enjoy their time at New Dream, they need to feel like they are playing, at least most of the time. Then we talk about what we need at New Dream and how that might be a source of fulfillment for you.

One of our volunteers started her business by first volunteering here at New Dream and then used her results to attract clients. That really tickled me because years ago I read about a consultant that started his business by doing volunteer work for major corporations. All he wanted in return were some stellar recommendations from the CEOs if the companies were satisfied with his work. Within months, he had written recommendations from industry leaders that he shared with potential new clients. With those credentials, he had no problem acquiring paying clients in major industries.

Clever eh?

Staff and other volunteers are typically very pleased when a volunteer steps in to help. They know you don’t have to be there, so you and your work are usually met with a lot of praise and gratitude. Now, if you are doing something you really love, you don’t usually need a lot of kudos, but it is nice to know you are appreciated, isn’t it?

I find it very easy to write a strong recommendation about a volunteer’s contributions because if you are giving from your strengths, your work is going to be good. If you are learning something new to help us and yourself, then you are demonstrating tremendous initiative and that is worth gold in today’s job market. Learn more about how this works at:
http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/volunteering.htm

Most of all, there is a tremendous satisfaction in knowing that you played a role in furthering something important to you. New Dream exists because people of various skills came together, each contributing with joy what time and talent we could because we believed in creating together something bigger than we could do alone.

We believe that the world needs the Sacred Feminine if it is going to evolve beautifully into its next level of conscious living. The Sacred Feminine will become a part of planetary consciousness if we allow ourselves to awaken to the divine nature of the feminine within us and then create the circles that hold space for others. New Dream is one of those circles.

Whether your idea of play is dancing, writing music, shooting a film, organizing people or events, developing websites, raising money, planting gardens, or solving problems, there is probably a way in which New Dream can help you realize your passions as you help us realize our mission.

If you have been looking for a place to meet people of like-heart, go deeper into the Sacred Feminine, make a difference in the world, and play…we would love to discover you…and welcome you as a New Dream Volunteer.

I suggest you begin by getting acquainted with some of the areas in which we would love to experience your volunteer assistance. http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/volunteer-opportunities.htm