Friday, October 24, 2008

"Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me."

Am I a horrible person if I cancel on a volunteering gig?

As of late I've been addicted to volunteering. Of all things to be addicted to, I figure this is a good one. I signed up for an organization that makes it all very easy with short-term commitments and fun projects. I've been doing it for a few months now and for the past few weekends in a row I've spent my Saturday holding little kids' hands, reading to them, or (my favorite) helping them pick apples at a New Jersey farm. See above pic of me in an apple tree.

Not only does volunteering give me something to do, it gives my Saturday purpose, and I get to focus on something other than my trivial problems. These kids live in a transitional shelter. 80% are in single parent homes. Most lost those homes because their family couldn't afford to pay rent anymore. Some are there because of domestic abuse issues. Some are fire victims. Most kids are only supposed to be there for about a year to a year and a half. But because housing is so affordable in NYC and the economy is so great right now, some kids have been there much longer. I have become a "regular" with a particular shelter and my "buddies" now light up when they see me there, something that warms my heart and makes me glad they get to see that there are adults who are interested in spending time with them, reading to them, talking to them about High School Musical and watching their card tricks.

I am supposed to go hiking with my regular group of kids tomorrow but it is most certainly going to rain, in which case we will take the kids bowling. I really don't want to go bowling. I also have started my packing but have quite a bit left to do. My friend is driving from Long Island with her car to help me move clothes, books, and all the other stuff I have so that will only leave the big things for next week. I have to coordinate with my new roommates and I also have a whopping pile of laundry sitting in the corner that isn't going to get done itself. My dream is to live in a building with an elevator, garbage disposal, and a washer and dryer.

So, since it is going to rain and I have so much to do, I'm thinking of not going tomorrow. I feel awful about it but if I call tonight and let him know that's not so bad, right?

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