When I first went on unemployment after losing my job this time I wanted to donate at a food bank as I really believe food banks are a life line for many people. We may not have ever had to need to go but there are times when there is only the choice of going to a food bank or not eating. Easy decision especially for people with children. These are the people I really think about when I think about the goodness of the food bank.
Now that I had proven myself, the lady told me she was affiliated with the local Catholic Church and that they would welcome me to be on their volunteer team. A few months went by and I was called upon again. I ended up donating every Tuesday for four hours for an entire month. I did the heavy lifting. I pretty much kept my mouth shut and worked like a dog. The other women were all over sixty and I was clearly the youngest of the group. I lifted the cases of canned vegetables from the lower cupboards off the floor to the tables so that the older women didn't have to strain themselves. We were having great female bonding as teamwork often provides and I loved being a part of their team.
I had just gotten home on the last Tuesday of the month and the Volunteer coordinator asked me to come back in Thursday as they were short people this last week. I said, "No problem. I'd be glad too! Thanks for another opportunity to serve." I went in on Thursday and quickly realized I didn't know any of these ladies. Same church but different group. After I introduced myself, I heard one of the Tuesday ladies come in and we laughed as she recognized me and my bike. She made sure I had already been introduced to everyone. This is the right thing to do when you know people in a group and recognize that there is a new person. Make them feel comfortable by breaking the barrier of unfamiliarity. She made me feel good when she did that. I was a part of the "sisterhood."
There is something liberating about telling off someone who is just a bully when everyone else is afraid to tell them. I heard in the background of my mind, "Take this job and shove it! I don't work here anymore." The times are tough enough but I'll be damned if anyone is going to treat me that way anymore. I don't know if its old age or wisdom but I do know that they have not asked me to return. I hope that the "sister" can use all her twenty years experience to do the heavy lifting. I'm sure she's good at that given all her years of experience of doing it by herself. She'll still be doing it for twenty more years by herself as they can't seem to keep any "fresh meat" around the place with her "working" there too.
Volunteers don't need a supervisor, they need a team leader ~ BJ Winchester