In honor of this rainy day (where did that fantastic sun go??), I figured I’d try to drum up some inspiration with some quotes on volunteering. Without further ado…
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
“Service to others is the payment you make for your space here on earth.”
“One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.”
Henry David Thoreau, poet, writer, philosopher
“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.”
In the News
It’s that time again, where once every 10 years each household fills out a few simple questions and it affects the entire nation. That’s right: it’s the 2010 census. It really is the easiest form you’ll ever fill out, and its implications on your community are astounding. According to the census website, “Census information affects the numbers of seats your state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. And people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more… In fact, the information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services.” If your census form is lying on the kitchen counter, take literally 5 minutes and fill it out. To find out more on what your census input affects, visit the census website here.
Agency Spotlight: Prison Book Program
I can officially say that the Prison Book Program was the reason I started reading for fun again after I had put an embargo on all fun reading during college. Volunteering here is truly inspirational and I promise you won’t leave without an increased appreciation for literature and reading after this project. The premise is simple: PBP is one of a few programs in the country authorized to send books to prisoners all over the U.S. Before volunteering here, I didn’t realize how difficult it is for prisoners to receive books. If a prison accepts books at all, they have to be sent directly from a distributor like Amazon, and have to be new and are restricted in subject matter content. But through PBP, inmates can receive new or gently-used books that they actually request. Volunteers at PBP read prisoners’ letters and then “shop” through their library to fulfill book requests. What’s the book most in demand? A dictionary. Other popular picks include GED prep books and legal primers. The prisoners write heart-felt letters and express their desire to read and to better themselves during their time in jail. How can you help? Besides volunteering, PBP is always strapped to come up with money for shipping. It only takes $3 to ship a package of books to a prisoner. You can donate on their website! Trust me, this opportunity gets my seal of approval and it might just reinvigorate your interest in reading.
Sort Baby Items at Room to Grow: you literally can’t go to this project without saying “Awww!” at least 3 times. I’d put money on it.
Vocational English Classes at Jewish Vocational Service: these students actually want to be in class, as odd as that seems! They also really appreciate your help.
Distribute Food at the Nutrition Works Food Pantry: operating out of the same building as the Red Cross Food Pantry (1033 Mass Ave.), Nutrition Works specifically serves those with HIV/AIDS.
Kelly Clark, Boston Cares