Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’

I have mentioned somewhere that one of the reasons I wanted to quit my job for freelancing was to be able to devote more time and energy to volunteering.

Experts in economical trends believe that volunteering is the new work market. I would like to think that it is because people are more conscious of their privileged status and want to share some of their assets (money, time, knowledge) with those who have less. The payment is good, indeed: a clean conscience , lots of experience, people you have so much to learn from.

photo: A DOOR IN LONDON by Futurilla

photo: A DOOR IN LONDON by Futurilla

I started doing volunteer work seven years ago, after a specially hard time in my life. I worked at the Red Cross, helping immigrants write their CVs and participating in craft workshops and video-forums for homeless people. In these years, I have worked for a lot of other non-profits, have had some bad experiences, but mostly I am grateful to all the organizations I’ve worked with, because they have helped me to learn so much about myself and life.

Today I would like to highlight one of the most generous communities I cooperate with: the Hospitality Club. This organization has a host of volunteers and affiliates which provide free accommodation worldwide. You only have to sign up at their webpage and you can search for people willing to receive you at their home in whichever place you choose.

They do this only to facilitate the contact between different cultures, and they do not even ask for donations, but they have a huge need for volunteers. Anything will do, from answering emails to compiling a guide of your town. So, if you like meeting people from cultures other than yours, be hospitable! Join the Hospitality Club and spread the goodwill.


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Oh my. I have just remembered that I have a blog to keep (thanks Stacie!). I have been a bit busy this week doing some translation jobs and trying to regain momentum after the holiday season – I had momentarily parked several volunteering jobs, and last week I had to begin again. And I have been squidooing a lot (I confess), creating new lenses (the last one is about my trip to the caves of Niaux in France. Come and visit here. And, promised, I will be posting a new article on journaling in a couple of days

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Barking mad

My newly chosen lifestyle includes dedicating a good portion of my time to volunteering. I think this is the best way to learn and acquire a lot of skills while at the same time helping others.

One of my favourite times in the week are the two days I volunteer for a local animal non-profit, ANIMALS WITHOUT FRONTIERS. It is certainly not a clean job – if you know what I mean – , and at times it is even dangerous. I’ve lost count of the number of sweaters I have had to throw because of the dogs’ overwhelming love!

This organization was started by my friend Marisa Caride some 17 years ago. They have two shelters near the area where I live now, in northwestern Spain. As is sadly usual, the shelters are overcrowded, and we have our share of horror stories to tell, but there are also the good ones.

Chispas (Sparks) is a good example. She was brought to us after having suffered an accident which had left her rear legs paralysed. At first we thought her chances of surviving were pretty slim, but three weeks and a lot of love and care afterwards she is sitting on my bed as I write this (we had to bring her in to our house, she was so badly hurt), feeling quite satisfied with herself in that way cats have – you know.

Part of the organization’s mission is educating adopters and audience in general about the need for spaying and neutering our pets. We have had lots of puppies who die before the fourth month from parvovirosis, even though they have been vaccinated, just because they are forced to live in an environment which is unhealthy for them – puppies are usually separated from adults in the shelter, but this is not always possible.

Our work would be lost without the help of several vets who help us for a reduced fee or even for free (thanks especially to Carlos and Marcos), and also of a lot of people who help us bringing food, blankets, or journals (a very coveted commodity!).

So I wanted to start this year saying thank you to all of them, and encouraging you to contact your local shelter and lend them a hand in any way you can. Or maybe go to the Animal Prevention Institute webpage and see how you can help
Photo by Sandhu
See Sandhu’s galleries here

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