Saturday, April 11, 2009

UlsterCorps Video... You Tube... Some Questions about Volunteerism v. Paid Employment... Thoughts... Likely Unpopular With Some... On the Matter

["Rik Flynn of UlsterCorps on Community Service"; as submitted to You Tube by ulstercorps on March 15, 2009; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1J8aP6L-bg]

In the following write-up, on UlsterCorps and "volunteerism," a lot of organizations were ommitted due to space constraints and/or because my point HERE is to demonstrate (this blog write-up represents MY opinion, yours might differ) that a lot of purported "volunteer opportunities" could and should (?) be PAID POSITIONS - which could help (Do ya think?) our local economic situation (in terms of paid employment / the overall state of the economy) immensely!

Why are some organizations, some of which receive mega-bucks (through grants and such) not putting in budget-line requests to PAY for the number of PAID employees that they need? Do "you" think there is something "wrong" with this picture?

The following represents snippets that I "pulled out" of the overall listing (source noted down below) --- because a lot of these "volunteer" job titles sure sound like JOBS (I would include anything over 10 hours a week maximum, along with anything that requires extensive education, training or special expertise - in this category) to me...

At the end of this list are a couple of organizations seeking volunteers that seem (these two organizations) to have a much more rational [a few hours a week max) - fair - and/or viable (the last one has a reciprocal component) concept of just what volunteerism is (again, my opinion) meant to be...

Check out the following [note the items in bold (my doing)] and tell me what you think:

"AFFORDABLE/TRANSITIONAL HOUSING

FAMILY’s Midway of Kingston & Ellenville...

Volunteers needed for projects including painting all kids’ rooms and offices, gardening/landscaping in the spring, driving kids to laundry services, grocery shopping, job opportunities, medical appointments, etc. tutoring, both college level and high school, any extra curricular activities in the community, like movies, meals, theater, parks, swimming, etc...

Family Inn...

Needs fill-ins for weekends, evenings, and overnights. Possibly a 20-hour part-time overnight position 2 overnights a week...

EDUCATION/ARTS

Ulster Literacy Association Tutor Training Workshop...

The ULA student waiting list has reached 100! This means all these folks are waiting patiently to meet a tutor and get started on building their reading, writing and conversational skills. We really need volunteers and have two new trainings scheduled:

Over 3 Saturdays, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 8:30-3:30 on all dates.
Tuesdays & Thursdays May 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28, 6:00-9:00PM on all dates...

Workshop train adult volunteers to work in a one-to-one tutoring situation with adults who want to improve their reading and writing skills. There is a fee (You pay a "fee" for the "privilege" of volunteering?) of $20.00 to cover the cost of material and handouts. This is due at the time you sign up for a specific workshop.

Volunteers also needed to cover the front desk, handle the phone, and other office tasks...

UCCAC, Inc. Early Head Start/Head Start is searching for volunteers throughout Ulster County. The Kingston Childrens Learning Center... is especially in need of volunteers for the classroom...

United Way Ulster County - Volunteer Opportunities...

Loaned Executives, Employee Campaign Managers, Community Fund Volunteers
Loaned Executives serve as United Way ambassadors to local businesses. In this capacity they:
Teach employees and employers about United Way programs and services
Assist Employee Campaign Managers to set United Way campaign goals and plan campaign strategy
Coordinate United Way presentations
Distribute United Way materials

Employee Campaign Managers (ECM’s) are volunteers within companies that work closely with Loaned Executives to present information about the United Way to their fellow employees.
Community Fund Volunteers are responsible for reviewing requests for funding, and then making recommendations to the Board of Directors of the United Way of Ulster County...


Center for Creative Education... Kingston Location... Stone Ridge Location...

The mission of the Center for Creative Education is to create a better world by nurturing and empowering youth and community through the arts. The Kingston center offers a dance and percussion studio, homework and tutoring center, and a computer music lab that is being developed in collaboration with the Kingston School District’s Department of Fine Arts and Enrichment. Volunteers needed for office help, clean-up, and event assistance.

Hudson River Maritme Museum...

Year round & seasonal volunteers needed -
Museum Admission and Gift Shop Clerks, Docent, Computer Specialist, Grant Administrator...

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Family of Woodstock - Ways to Volunteer

Volunteer training program for work on 24 Hour Hotline. 3-hour shifts. Days, eves, weekends. Also Food Closet, Holiday programs...

HITS season begins May 20th. Volunteers needed to staff our Spectator gates during our Horse Shows (???). All proceeds from the gate go directly to Family of Woodstock. More info...

Bilingual Volunteers Needed at FAMILY’s ACMS...

Salvador Altamirano-Segura, program director of Family’s Adult Case Management Services (ACMS), has recently asked for volunteers to help enroll Spanish speaking clients in the Food Stamps Program. As a community based organization, we are able to submit client applications electronically from our sites. He is looking for volunteers to help with his Spanish speaking clients... [Wouldn't this be a great part time or full time job for Those with BiLingual (special) Skills?]

Additional Volunteer Opportunities at Family
GREEN ENERGY/SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainable Hudson Valley...

Volunteers needed to help SHV with communications and outreach, research support, office help or fundraising... Database manager — data entry and database setup, Excel knowledge required (approx 3 hours/ week, can do from your location)
Graphic designer — design print and web materials, work closely with highly skilled design director (one project or a stream of them — lots to do)Outreach volunteers — staff SHV information tables with material on all our programs (flexible, lots of evenings & weekends possible)Media monitors — if you are an avid reader of specialized media related to sustainability or the Hudson Valley, let us know and send us relevant clippings to feed our information-hunger

Hudson Valley Materials Exchange...
HVME is in desperate need of volunteers to help us finish our move. Help moving materials, painting inside of storage trailers, outreach and fundraising are needed. our most immediate need is help moving materials and painting.

HEALTH SERVICES...

American Red Cross, Ulster County Chapter - Volunteer Opportunities... Disaster Response Team Member, General Office Support, Health & Safety Volunteer Instructors, Leadership Committee Volunteers, Volunteer Administration Specialist, Volunteer Intake Specialist, Volunteer Recruitment Specialist.

Health Alliance - Benedictine Hospital Volunteer Services...

A range of rewarding volunteer opportunities, including serving patients, staffing the gift shop, assisting visitors at the information desk, and working as clerical and support staff...

Hospice, Inc...

Volunteers needed for office work, delivery of medications, provide respite care, etc...

Health Alliance - Kingston Hospital Volunteer Services...

A range of rewarding volunteer opportunities, including serving patients, staffing the gift shop, assisting visitors at the information desk, and working as clerical and support staff...

New Paltz Rescue Squad...

The Rescue Squad is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that provides our community with professional, pre-hospital emergency care. Volunteers needed as ambulance drivers, EMTs and paramedics...

Ulster-Greene ARC

Volunteers needed to assist developmentally disabled adults with social activities and companionship...

LEGAL SERVICES

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ulster County
Looking for volunteer advocates. Volunteers are assigned by Family Court to advocate for children in foster care. Advocates work with child and family...


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Much more equitable - fair and impressive (in terms of the way in which I understand "volunteerism" - in my opinion:

1.

Gardiner Library
Station Sq/Gardiner 255-1255
Volunteers for the following library jobs would be greatly appreciated. The time frames below are suggestions.
Putting plastic covers on new books - One hour monthly
Deleting outdated magazines from system - One hour monthly
Looking through newspapers and clipping articles about the library - One hour monthly
Circulation Desk Help
Workers at the circulation desk are always welcome. We especially need help in the evening hours. You can come every week or once a month. You decide what works for you!
http://www.rcls.org/gar/


2.

Woodstock Time Bank
PO Box 783, Woodstock, NY 12498
845-679-4211, woodstocktimeexchange@hotmail.com
http://www.timebanks.org/
For every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community, you earn one Time Dollar. Then you have a Time Dollar to spend on having someone do something for you.
To join: visit http://community.timebanks.org, click on Find a Timebank, scroll down to Woodstock Timebank, click Join!


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Source: UlsterCorps Website "Volunteer Opportunities": http://ulstercorps.org/?page_id=5: [Bold Print Mine; some minor editing (spellcheck) involved)]

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Now, it certainly may be that there are issues involved in all of this that I am not aware of...

So I would certainly like to hear (whether pro or con... or to provide clarifying input...) your knowledge and/or views on the matter...

Peace, Love, Equality and Humane Justice,

NS

6 comments:

N.S. said...

If any errors are noted here, please let me know and I will post (after checking it out) the appropriate corrections. Thank You.

Anonymous said...

This is as old a form of candy coated victimization as you can get. We'll take what you have for nothing and give the real jobs to our friends and relatives. Should be their slogan. Thanks for posting this and bringing up the topic.
Check out the number of local Government free loaders who are volunteering for anything. Bet you could count them on your pinky?

Anonymous said...

Bravo for saying it.I recently found it to be a way for the IN CROWD to laugh ,scoff at and snicker at the efforts of sincere people who were attempting to make something work for the community. People whose time and talents were abused at best and sent on wild safaries to find funding that did not exsist and support that was pure lip service to make goals and dreams into controls and nightmares. Thanks but no thanks!!! People can find far better ways to waste their time...smitty

N.S. said...

Yeah - it has been quite a 'ride' (like the roller coaster from H***) - hasn't it?

Bitterness IS sometimes justified - to be sure.

Volunteerism is, of course, a great concept - within reason...

But volunteerism can too easily become exploitation - and then we are all (those that climb on "this" wagon - with good intent) right back on the "road to nowhere"...

The continued existance of "royalty" (for lack of a better word) - "serfs" (ditto) - and "poor houses" (renamed and reframed...) galore... doesn't bespeak much "progress" - in terms of human evolution - to me.

Anonymous said...

There are some gov't "freeloaders" who volunteer that I know about--myself included, so the innuendo is bogus and the social attitude that perpetuates the misgivings and bad feelings toward any and all who are in need of 'help' continues until it happens to YOU. The point I like to make about the big picture is that gov't workers themselves are on positive welfare or the positive dole since their livelihood depends on having the needy continue to be so otherwise they'd lose their f**king job. Each politician is on that payroll also except Bloomberg who takes $1/year salary. Unless you meant those who are the freeloaders are also the politicians and social workers welfare office people, etc.

N.S. said...

Anon 4/15 3:18AM

If you are responding to my blog posting, I do think you misunderstood me. My point here was simply that a lot of "volunteer" positions could easily be reframed and made into paid positions (which this city needs badly!)

I am, however, pretty much in agreement with the following (your words):

"The point I like to make about the big picture is that gov't workers themselves are on positive welfare or the positive dole since their livelihood depends on having the needy continue to be so otherwise they'd lose their f**king job."

Thank you for posting.