Categories
Perspectives

Volunteering at the Farm

Turns out, Pippi Longstocking inspires the strangest people. For January, I’ve been staying and helping out in a small farm in Ontario, Canada that looks like Pippi was at the very least involved with the building of it. The owner and his tenants could definitely be the “Where Are They Now?” of the stories from […]

Categories
Open Thread

This Weekend Open Thread is Helping Puppies

I’m training to volunteer with an animal rescue.

Categories
Perspectives

The Toxic Good Cause

Years ago, I volunteered for an animal rescue. I adopted my dog from them, they asked for help, and I just fell into it. It was rewarding to help the animals, and I was new to that world. After a while, though, it wasn’t fun.

Categories
Politics

The Price of Bureaucracy

I’m not one for “leaning in” Sheryl Sandberg style. I’m not even one for volunteering beyond one-off opportunities. I don’t like long-term commitments because they usually mean I can’t just walk away when I want to spend a day reading a book instead. But I recently got involved with a city project, and I’m remembering […]

Categories
News

Good News: David Brooks Is Wrong

Last week, conservative pundit David Brooks wrote a column saying that Americans were using certain words less in their writing, and this proved the U.S. isn’t as virtuous as it used to be. For instance, a study using the Google books database “found that between 1960 and 2008 individualistic words and phrases increasingly overshadowed communal […]

Categories
Parenting

On Being a PTA Parent

I was a teacher long before I became a parent. I taught in a small, private preschool that catered to suburban families looking for an early childhood experience rather than simply babysitting for their preschoolers. Every family was required to volunteer 25 hours of their time, or pay a $250 fee. 

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Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll 12/7

Good afternoon, readers! How goes your Tuesday?  Today’s lunchtime poll is about volunteering.  After Meghan’s great post yesterday, several of the writers and editors were having a conversation about how our volunteering styles have changed as we’ve gotten older.   While all of us were pretty active as teens and in college, as we’ve had families […]

Categories
Parenting

On Volunteering: My Anti-Helicopter Parents

The NYT has a fascinating article up titled “Frazzled Moms Push Back Against Volunteering,” which examines how some mothers have forcibly extricated themselves from increasingly overwhelming commitments to volunteer at their children’s schools. While the article overlooked the major elephant in the room, that fathers apparently feel untouched by any obligation to volunteer, commenters left […]