Sunday, April 28, 2013

How (and whom) does volunteering help?

Referring to my previous post when I mentioned (hopefully without coming off as whining or complaining) about how busy I have been with various volunteer work I have been doing, I thought I would take some time to "think out loud" a bit about volunteer work in general, and this blog seemed a good place to do that.

I do think my work helps those organizations where I volunteer - actually, I [i] know[/i] it does - and also the local communities. I am sure several thousand additional people have visited Fort Wright ( the city that owns the Ramage Museum) over the years and even if they don't spend tons of money, they do spend some and they do get to see what the city has to offer.

My work with the Campbell County Historical Society does not generate as many visitors, but those that come have access to a tremendous amount of local genealogical information. Our family files books of local photographs, veterans's records (over 12,000 individual entries as of now) and the database that has more than 250,000 names in it all provide a great deal of information and has helped countless people over the years.

I think my newly found involvement with the Freedom Corridor group and the committee for our annual local History Day will prove to help and inform local citizens in similar fashions.

With that said, I think I get more benefit from these groups than they get from me. That implies no lack of work or effort on my part, but, rather, just describes how many opportunities I get for personal growth, through meeting new people and contacts, to having new experiences (especially in public speaking or presenting, tasks I have not done or enjoyed much in the past) and to gaining new confidence when ideas I suggest are appreciated or work well.

Accomplishments and tasks like those and perhaps others I am forgetting right now make me feel more at ease around others and more confident in my own abilities. Even writing this blog, though not so much recently, lets me know I can contribute my own thoughts and ideas to the world at large instead of always just being alone or quiet or "reserved" and minding my own business all the time.

I know that nobody reads this blog for my psychoanalysis of myself, so I will stop now, but part of this blog's goal is to help me explore my Civil War Obsession and the how's and whys of it, and I think my ventures into the world of volunteering connects with that goal quite nicely.

I appreciate my readers' understanding of an occasional post such as this and I will make more efforts to post on more war-related subjects and not just on myself.

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