Friday, April 20, 2007

What Are You People Doing With Your Free Time???

So I read a story in the Chicago Tribune that only 28% of adults in Illinois volunteer at all. In any form or fashion, with any sort of group, for any amount of time. And I am truly and DEEPLY puzzled as to how, exactly, you manage this. Or how those of you who don't have pre-verbal children manage to not volunteer, and I know 72% of the adults in the state are not infant-laden.

I mean, are there seriously full-grown adults out there who don't even chaperone a dance? Man a booth at a charity fair? Do some churchy project? Do a Habitat weekend? Christmas in April? School fundraisers? 72% of adults in this state don't have do-gooding friends who guilt them into spending an hour at a neighborhood cleanup?



Star said...

You know, I was going to do that cartoony thing where you kind of look downcast and your ears droop and whatever, and say, "I don't volunteer..."

Then I realized I do, with the civic theater. Which isn't helping the homeless or anything, but it's something that enriches the community. (...Usually.) I guess I hadn't thought of it as volunteer work, it's just something I do.

But... Not being infant-laden does not free time (and energy, especially energy) make. And... I don't know, I don't know how I feel about the idea that people *must* volunteer if they have the time for it. I mean, yeah, it seems like a good idea, but there's part of me that's going, "But...!"

*muses* I may have to blog this myself, have a little brainstorm to think it out. Eventually.

Eyebrows McGee said...

It's not that everyone SHOULD volunteer -- I just can't believe that 72% of adults don't even put in 30 minutes over the course of a year!

Now, if it was the other way around, and about 75% of adults DID volunteer and about 35% DIDN'T, I wouldn't find that so startling.

C. J. Summers said...

"What Are You People Doing With Your Free Time???"


Star said...

"Now, if it was the other way around, and about 75% of adults DID volunteer and about 35% DIDN'T, I wouldn't find that so startling."

Oh, OK. I misread you, sorry. *blush*

Kara Harris said...

I am very active in our neighborhood and enjoy it. The problem is always the same people volunteering. You never get any new faces. Frustrating.

PeoriaIllinoisan said...

Here's my take-

Had they called me on the phone for this little survey and asked if I volunteered, I probably would've said no, just like Star did.

The fact is, I do a lot of volunteer work for both the Junior League and our kid's school, but I never thought of it as volunteering.

First off, Men aren't allowed to "officially" join the Junior League, so that cancels me out there. I don't volunteer for the school either, I'm just helping out when I can.

I volunteer a great deal of time to both- more than I probably want to know, but I've never thought of myself as a volunteer. Like I said, I just enjoy helping out when needed with whatever skills I can bring to the table.

I think the numbers are flawed. I doubt I'm alone in thinking I don't do any volunteer work. I do, I just don't realize it.

Jennifer said...

I volunteer quite a bit at the school my children attend and Kara is right, it always seems to be the same faces.
It's like people fall into 2 catagories, those that volunteer a lot and those that don't volunteer at all.

firefly said...

There's two completely opposite things here, I think. On the one hand, there are people who volunteer and don't give it a second thought. If you had asked me straight out what sort of volunteer work I do, I'd have probably said "none." And then you ranted and listed a few things and I found myself saying, "Well, actually I do this and that. Hm. Didn't think of it that way."

On the other hand, quite a few people either see no value to it or are actually opposed to volunteering. I'm sure I've told you this before, but back in the day when I was a)Catholic and b)a confirmation teacher, there were some kids whose parents would get up in arms about the idea they were expected to do some kind of community service. Not because the kids had insanely full schedules, which I'd have had a teensy bit more sympathy for, but because they actually were completely opposed to the idea of their kid doing any type of work without getting paid for it.

Mahkno said...

Garden Pr0n !!

Flushed, sunburned, from a long day of gardening.

anon e. mouse said...

EM -
Yeah, it is stunning.
My family is a DO family.

Julie said...

dSame thing here.. I do a ton of work with the school, judt never thought of it as volunteering, just doing what needs to be done. The school my daughter attends mandates that each family in the school must put in 30 service hours per year. It may seem like a lot to some, but there is an insane amount of ways to get that done.

If you do not complete the service hours, you are charged $10.00 per hour not completed. And would you believe that there are people that pay $300.00 per year not to do any hours?

I would like to get involved more, especially in the neighborhood, but after the school hours, it never seems as if there is enough time. Especially since my family expects me to feed them and do laundry (the nerve!)