Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sewing Blankets: the Explanation

My friend (and blog follower) Lindsay read my post about sewing baby blankets and was curious to hear more about the volunteer work.

I thought my answer may be helpful to some of you other ladies, too:

This volunteer work is through The Junior League. I never thought I would be a Junior Leaguer (heard too many bad stereotypes) but then I realized that the Atlanta Junior League is full of professional, diverse and motivated women (not the group I thought it would be). So I decided to give it a shot.

Everyone has different reasons for joining the Junior League, whether it be to make friends, have a reason to volunteer, do a little bit of networking (it sure grows your network to be in such a big club!), dress up for fun events, etc. I wanted to do a little of all of the above but mostly wanted to be held accountable to volunteer. (I think everyone who sets out to volunteer has great intentions -- but they may not actually volunteer as much as they thought they would -- with Junior League, you have to maintain a certain number of volunteer hours per year to be in the club). The other thing I like is that you have about 40 volunteer organizations to choose from versus being pigeonholed into one kind of opportunity. Last year, I volunteered at the Genesis Shelter (a homeless shelter for women and children, and fathers when available), helping by watching the children while their parents took courses in fiscal responsibility, parenting, etc. I chose sewing baby blankets this year so I could volunteer when it was convenient. It's been neat, but next year, I think I'll look into something that includes interacting with people.

Other opportunities include volunteering at the Chastain Horse Park (doing therapy with kids via letting them ride horses), helping with special events at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, serving on an event committee (e.g., the March "Tour of Kitchens"), volunteering at the Atlanta Center for the Blind, etc. All of this ties back to the Junior League of Atlanta's mission: "The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc., is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable."

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