I spent my Saturday morning tying bags of pasta with fancy machine sort of like this:
I seem to be the only person who is this fascinated by the tie machine, but I think it’s probably the coolest thing ever. Then again, I love tasks that have an instant feeling of accomplishment. With this little thingamajig, you pull the bag through and VOILA, it’s tied and ready. (It’s the simple things in life, right?)
Northwest Harvest has 325+ partner programs to which they distribute food. I don’t know exactly how much pasta we bagged, tied, and packaged on Saturday morning, but it was definitely a lot. While it’s not exactly the feel-good kind of volunteering that allows you to work directly with the end beneficiary, it’s still pretty cool to know your hard work is paying off and enabling people to eat when they otherwise would have gone hungry.
Saturday was my first service shift with the Junior League of Seattle, and aside from having to drive 30 minutes to get there, I loved it. Not only did I love the tie machine, but I’m realizing more and more why joining this organization was a good choice for me. I’ve never once felt awkward at a meeting or event. I’ve never once felt snubbed or ignored. In fact, I pretty much feel like myself and as though I’m appreciated for being there. And it wasn’t until this past Saturday that I realized how glad I am to finally be doing volunteer work that suits me. A couple years ago, I joined a local organization that puts groups of young people together for volunteer work, but most of it involved the outdoors – painting, weeding, planting, things that just aren’t me. Now I can give back in a way more suited to my abilities and do so with likeminded women.
I’ve never been much of a joiner but it’s pretty exciting to finally feel like a part of something. My best friend and I joke that I’ve joined a cult and have to don a hooded robe before every meeting, but it’s obviously nothing like that in real life. The girls in my small group are fantastic and everyone else I’ve met has been incredibly nice in a way I wouldn’t originally have expected, given the pearl-wearing, stuck-up, ladies-who-lunch stigma you hear about.
Today I found out that the “provisional project” I’ll be working on this year is putting together Mother’s Day baskets for local women who are in some way disadvantaged and in need of a little extra love on Mother’s Day. That was my first choice, partially because I liked the sound of it and partially because it’s in the spring once M is deployed and I have more time on my hands. I’m excited to get things going and see what this year brings!