I started volunteering on a regular basis when the OFKAR began junior kindergarten. It was the standard mom-gig, helping out in the classroom and the school library. I wasn't all that interested in being part of the inner sanctum of the school hierarchy, to be honest, but it was something I did for the OFKAR and her classmates.
Once I was no longer needed at the school (because what junior high kid wants their mom hanging around), my volunteering lessened to occasional things like canvassing. Eventually, though, I found myself saying yes more and more often, especially once I began working freelance. Turns out that everybody wants someone who can do some pro bono writing for them. And frankly I would rather write than go door to door asking for money. The organizations were more in line with my interests, as well. The arts were calling.
And a funny thing happened as I become more involved with my community. I became more passionate about my community. Calgary may have a million plus people, but the arts community is tight-knit, incestuous almost, with many over-lapping circles.
A while back, our mayor launched a civic engagement initiative - Three Things for Calgary - in which you decide on three things that you want to do for your community, do those three things, and then encourage three more people to do the same. Simple concept, but deciding (especially for a Libra) was surprisingly difficult.
But decide I have! My Three Things for Calgary will be:
1. Become more involved with the Calgary Drop-In Centre - I have huge admiration for the selfless work the people there are doing to address homelessness in our city. Although I have written some short articles about the DI for one of my clients, I want to do more to make sure that the voices at the DI are heard.
2. Volunteer with WordFest - I've been asked to become a coordinator and am planning to accept. I'm already a coordinator with the Folk Festival, so I have some idea of what I am getting myself into. Don't I?
3. Participate in the Calgary 20 Minute Makeover - this is an easy one that I just signed up for - spend 20 minutes cleaning up an area in your community, take pix and such. My back lane could sure use a makeover!
And now that it's out there, there is no turning back. Now, three of you get out there and do something!