yesterday i went to a volunteer retreat for Writegirl, a non-profit organization that runs writing workshops for at-risk girls in LA. not only do they run monthly workshops, they have an in-schools program, a weekly mentorship program, they hold readings, and put out beautiful books. i really get behind what they do.
i wondered what it is about volunteer-based organizations and silly, pseudo-emotional ice-breaker activities meant to excite and inspire the volunteers’ imagination and emotion. i have always had a hard time getting on board with this. but then, i suppose, some folks enjoy the prompting and slight manipulation into feeling-on-command.
i’m a pessimist, maybe. it’s just, i did (too) many similar activities when i served Americorps. i like to have my own attitude, my own reasons, my own approach. even if it turns out to be in line with what the organization leaders are looking for (which it usually does), that’s great. but i like to get there on my own without being coaxed and strung along. if someone tries to string me along, anywhere, i just won’t go.
i am hoping to dedicate most of my volunteer hours to the fundraising team. i already have a lot of experience teaching at-risk youth and mentoring, so i would very much like to be involved in this other, more behind-the-scenes aspect of running a non-profit.
there were only women there yesterday, even the panel of literary agents and book marketing professionals brought in to talk to the volunteers. all women. i imagine how the energy would have changed if they’d brought in men to sit on the panel. it’s another thing i admire about Writegirl. they’re really deidcated to creating safe spaces specifically for women.