Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Volunteers, Outreach Programs and Community Service
I'd like your recommendations, please.
I'm looking to volunteer somewhere in New York. My interest is twofold:
1. Jewish outreach
When it comes to Jewish outreach programs, the only one I ever really heard about was NCSY. I was never involved in it because my impression was that it was merely a hangout/ social scene. I also don't like the idea of conning people into accepting a religion/ becoming more religious. I don't know if there's any program that would really fit my interests, but I would enjoy talking with people who are curious to know more about Judaism from the more logical/ textual side of things rather than desiring mere social interaction. I know that some people set up chavrusas and learn with interested people, but I'm not sure that's what I'd like to do, either. I'm better at teaching people than learning with people. Maybe I'd be best teaching at a Hebrew school or a Sunday school. I'd like to do something hands-on, in any case.
With regard to secular volunteer programs. I'd particularly like:
1. Working with battered women/ abused children
2. Working with children with cancer/ suffering from terminal illnesses
I love children. I'd love to just play with the kids, especially since they're kids who probably don't get to play so often. I love to dress up, I love costumes, I can be rather creative and I can deal with sullen responses. Basically, I can bring fun to people. I don't know if there are any opportunities for me to do anything like that, or if it's even allowed, but it's what I'd like to do. Again, I'd prefer to do something hands-on rather than clerical/ secretarial work.
I'm also just curious. What are soup kitchens like, for instance? Would I want to volunteer there? Any and all recommendations appreciated.
Working knowledge of basic computer programs + some advanced
Types 100+ WPM
Nursing Home Visitor (80+ hours)
Hurricane Katrina Interim (helped restore a mental health facility opened to house refugees to its previous state/ resorted blankets, toiletries, etc.)
Thrift/ Charity Shop Volunteer (helped customers/clean-up/ organize the store's merchandise)
Kohl's Children's Museum Volunteer (80+ hours)
Anixter Sourcing Specialist (Summer)
So, what can you recommend for/ to me? Any and all recommendations/ ideas would be appreciated. Also, I'd appreciate the input of anyone willing to give their personal experience regarding various organizations/ volunteer agencies. For now, the location is irrevelant so long as it's somewhere in New York. If you happen to know about anything closer to Manhattan, though, that'd be great.