BE A DO-GOODER FOR A DAY

I
need your help again, Xanga people.  Pretend you are thinking
about volunteering your time at a residence for people with AIDS. 
The clients have other issues too: mental illness, drug addiction,
dementia.  You are not yet convinced you want to volunteer
there.  After all, there’s an animal shelter with cute puppies
nearby, and the local school is looking for tutors.  Lots of
worthwhile organizations could benefit from your time.

What do you
need to know to help you make your decision?  What might make you
say “no way I’m setting foot in that place.”  What benefit would you hope to get from volunteering? 

Yep,
I’m writing another brochure.  This one will tell nice people like
you about volunteer opportunities at our fine establishment.  How
can I make volunteering here a no-brainer?

You helped me tremendously on my last project, friends.  Please give me the gift of your insight again.

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23 thoughts on “

  1. this is right up my alley as a serial volunteer…. Play up the fact that this may NOT be the volunteer gig for everyone, that it will be more of a challenge, BUT WITH BIGGER CHALLENGES COME BIGGER REWARDS. These people need kindness and compassion and far too often get neither because being a puppy petter and tutor is frankly much easier. Challenge them and you should attract the kind of person up to the task.

  2. Hmnn…I like the comment above- very astute- but also, I think I would point out some sort of statistic- how 1 out of “x” number of families is already, or will be, touched by HIV/AIDS. This could be anyone’s loved one who needs help. And since the needs are myriad, the skills needed to meet them are, as well- there’s a job, big or small, for anyone willing to give their time. Good luck with your brochure! Lisa

  3. I need some sort of a personal connection… I need to know someone who has been there, or someone who works there.  I need to know someone who has personally benefitted from it in one way or another.  Generally speaking a brochure won’t do it for me.  A brochure handed to me by someone who genuinely cares and is passionate about the program and can tell me about the people who benefit from the program.  How the program has affected them and made them a more compassionate person… I guess maybe I’m a hard sell, but there are so many causes out there, that I can call any program or organization and volunteer, but I need some sort of personal appeal to get me to do it and to not feel like I’m leaving out all the rest of the charities. 
    I guess I want to read a story about a volunteer and a patient (or resident – I’m not sure the terminology here) how one helped the other… how they’re both better people because of it.  I want to be a better person…

  4. I’d really rather volunteer at the puppy shelter…maybe if you got some cute puppies to cheer up the patients there would be some incentive.   Or not.  Sorry, not helpful.  Truthfully, and I guess shamefully,  I can’t think of anything that would make me want to work there.

  5. I would go for the personal aspect, If I read a testimonial of someone saying how the volunteer really helped them, I might be more inclined.  Also the job needs to sound easy, people don’t like to put a lot of free time into grunt work.  Like if it were reading to someone or keeping them company etc… I would go for that over cleaning puppy poop.  This sounds horrible but the sick people on the brochure need to be somewhat attractive.  I know, really bad, but people are already afraid of the virus, so if the person looks like the average Joe and really could be a family member, I think people would be more inclined to help.  If their are no pictures, I think that is bad too, it needs to be shown as a clean place with other normal looking volunteers, people are shallow, even volunteers

  6. I would have to agree with missamandabear’s post.  Motivation for any volunteering might come from some sort of personal connection to the cause, however worthy, since there are so many out there.  

  7. I saw the word ‘volunteer’ and my brain shut down.But this is why you also have friends here who are kind and thoughtful. (aka: not so shallow)

  8. a personal connection would help. But as someone pointed out to me a professional connection might help as well. volunteering at so and so would be a great resume builder, dealing with crisis etc…

  9. I agree that I would need a personal connection and I think that I’d want some show of gratitude. Just a simple “thanks” or something to let me know that I’ve really helped them — that’s something that AIDS patients can give that puppies and little schoolkids can’t give as well.

  10. Personally, I respond well to logic. Having worked for the American Diabetes Association, I can say that we were frequently in awe of how effective the local AIDS Walk was compared to our little walk, especially when so many more people in our community were afftected by diabetes. Coming from that perspective, I think adding global statistics and information would be helpful.

  11. Questions I would want the brochure to answer:
    Are bodily fluids involved?  Is there any chance at all I could become infected by volunteering here?
    What would you need me to do?
    Why can’t the patients do this themselves?
    Is this work rewarding or depressing?  Is the environment upbeat or will I be watching people die?
    Do I need training?  Will I receive it?
    How many hours per week would I be volunteering?

  12. it has to be personal- about the person. as well as all those ^^ questions above. with time so scarce, it’s one of my most precious things and i could always be doing something else- so why would i volunteer? if i felt that my time would be valuable- then i might. if i felt that i could make a real difference- i would.
    ps. thanks for the tip. i’m always looking for things like that! 🙂

  13. My instant reaction – statistics on how I would be able to help… how long are these people going to live, how will my effort benefit their families, help statistics for medical research? When you think about volunteering at the humane society, you think about saving little puppies… When you think about volunteering for HIV/AIDS patients, a concept of hope of some sort would be nice. The way you describe it here, it sounds like hell

  14. Hmm something along the lines of “for many, simply being alive is nothing but a mundane task. Our residents don’t have that luxury but with a little hope, an extra hand, a caring word they are able to carry on with a sense of dignity that many take for granted. They do not ask much except to feel accepted and understood, for there is enough prejudice and pain in our world, and in theirs.”
    I’m a sap, so that’s all I could think of.

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