Volunteering: The cheapest entertainment in town

Like most people these days, I’m operating on a VERY tight budget. That doesn’t leave much cash for cocktails with my girlfriends, going to concerts or movies, or my very favorite thing – shopping. What’s a girl to do? Sit at home and clean out closets? Given, it’s productive, but not that fun.

YWCA TitansSo yesterday afternoon while hanging out at LP field collecting donations for the YWCA domestic violence program, it occurred to me that volunteering is the cheapest entertainment in town. There I was with my old pals from the YW, soaking up the sunshine, making friends with the volunteers, people watching the Titans fans, AND helping a great organization. Thoroughly entertaining – AND FREE!

This got me thinking, volunteering has a lot of perks. Being a compulsive list maker, I decided to list all the great things about volunteering.

1. It’s free.

2. You get to hang out with your friends. With busy schedules it can be hard to find time for your friends, but it somehow gets easier when you have something specific to do.

3. New friends – You can meet some really great people while volunteering. Last night I expanded my social circle and did a little business networking at the same time. Sadly, I did not have the chance to flirt with the cute boy volunteers, but there’s always next time.

4. Helping people – I almost forgot! In a few short hours we collected at least half a dozen trash bags full of NEW undergarments for women fleeing domestic violence. These women leave their abusers with nothing but the clothes on their back, and we did our part to help them start over. Don’t you just love that warm fuzzy feeling you get from doing good?

5. BONUS PERKS – Now not every volunteer assignment has these, but it sure is nice when they do. Last night all of the volunteers got free passes into the Titans game. Free “get in where you fit in” seats – 5 rows from the field.Titans

A few weeks ago, our Fab Four Festival volunteers got to hear the Longplayers perform the White Album for the small price of helping set up for the event or manning the door or merch. table. Non-profits often have volunteer gifts, like my rockin’ YW “dignity” baseball cap.

Free entertainment and stuff – how cool is that? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the next project!

Hands on Nashville is one of CRC’s partner agencies. They have every volunteer project you can imagine and maybe some you couldn’t. Every year HON has a day of service to Metro schools. You spend your morning (HON Day 2009 -Sat. Sept. 26th) helping a Metro school with a project like painting or landscaping, and you spend the afternoon at the after party – prizes, food, people, fun.

For other volunteer opportunities, check out the CRC Wish Lists at http://www.crcnashville.org or in the Saturday Tennessean. Oh, and don’t forget that the “Two Chicks” could always use help with the heavy lifting around the warehouse.

~ Betsy A. Everett ~ (Chick 2)

Volunteering: The cheapest entertainment in town

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