By in Random

Volunteer Organizations Can't Seem To Get It Together

I have two kids in school, which basically means that any number of organizations is seeking my time at any given moment. I don't mind volunteering and helping out, because in a way it is a right of passage that I saw my parents do. However, more than that I like to set an example for the kids, not just mine, that there is nothing wrong with putting some time and effort into helping.

Granted, most of things that require my attention are fundraisers. Selling candy, magazine subscriptions, even books have been things I have been counted on to do. Since my skill set in real life translates into digital and web work, I tend to get calls from other clubs to set up accounts, websites, social media events, and so much more. I draw the line sometimes, because I've got a lot to on a given day anyway.

The problem is that it's the same parents I see at every event. We all know each other, because we have been volunteering for years. The other parents show up with their kids to reap the rewards of the effort, and that's okay because not everyone can make the time. At least, that's the way I used to feel. Talking with the inactive parents reveals that personality conflicts with people in charge keep them from putting forth any effort, and I hope they don't tell the kids that. Because getting along with others is usually an important part of life. Even from my usual dim room where the magic of the written word comes to life needs other people, occasionally.

A lot of the volunteer lot, myself included, is simply getting burned out. The hours we spend setting things up, coaching athletics, and even painting decorations is something we do for the kids, and when we hear parents talk about how "rushed" things look or how it could have been done better, it boils down to the age old question "Where were you?"


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Comments

valmnz wrote on March 7, 2015, 2:52 PM

We see the volunteer burnout happening here in New Zealand too. Sad, but true. Good on you for being one of those who stands up to be counted.

arthurchappell wrote on March 9, 2015, 7:54 AM

It's often the case with volunteer run groups - many members are inactive and if the group grows the few active members come under increasing pressure and often end up having to stop unless someone steps in to relieve the strain