Service Politics:What can you do?
I'm thinking of bringing to light, via local paper that no area Vets are doing pro-bono work to help solve our huge unwanted pet problem. I'm thinking that I figure out a way to work with different people involved to make that happen.
Also thinking there needs to be some-kind of networking resource for voluntarism. I myself would love to do more volunteer work, but I don't where I am needed other than the obvious - soup kitchens, animal shelters,nursing homes. There needs to be a resource that covers all depths. Lets say I am a vocational school student interested in auto body. I go to this resource and find a listing for a body shop that needs freshly painted cars washed, in trade for following the process from prep to paint. The possibilities are endless there just needs to be a source that links people.
As for you, I am just glad Gargamel didn't eat you, or turn you into gold. I mean 8 years is a long time! Thank goodness Gargamel is a blundering idiot! Thank goodness for the sun!
I know that in my city there is a centralized location for volunteering. I looked it up on-line and signed up a few years ago. There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities there but if you don't have something like that where you live you might try to get something going at the grass roots level, perhaps through AARP or your local town or city hall. Talk to the mayor of your place of residence and see what he/she can do to help get you going. Maybe they would let you get in on their website and the same with your local AARP or YMCA/YWCA.
I believe there are some Vets who do pro-bono for shelters and such. If animals are your thing why not ask your vet for help in getting started. Usually every large town or city has an animal rescue team. Call them and ask for their help or if they need your help! Blogging sites are the rage right now as well. You might start one on eBlog or elsewhere and see if you can stir up some interest in what you wish to do.
Side: Networking with other volunteers
I am trying to transfer the energy I put into the campaign, to other areas where i can be of use. I was very involved and it felt good to be a part of something so powerful. Look what grassroots can do.
Now imagine if that same power, under a service movement. You know, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country kinda thing. Now that could really get things done.
So this debate is a way to toss around some ideas, & plant some seeds maybe.
Side: Networking with other volunteers
I know what you mean Jamais. After Obama won I felt like I should build a levy, or dig a well or something. You know something to help the community (who knew you needed a license to dig a deep hole in an apartment complex? And what are all those pipes for?)
Not to belabber the point, but I feel like I've been a smurf (see pic) the last 8 years imprisoned in Gargamel's castle, and it's always dark and dreary and raining and thundering. But I finally escaped, and the clouds parted, and I can see the sun again, just on the horizon.
That said, USA Freedom Corps is a good place to check out as well.
My personal thoughts would have to be joining the Peace Core to help people in poor nations in places like Africa. Obviously this is pretty radical, so if you have a job and a family it won't work.
There are other ways you can help developing nations though. By supporting organizations like Transparency International, and other groups that work to fight corruption, you can help by stopping the poor governance that is costing these nations' people dearly. A Bill that is currently awaiting action in the U.S. House of Representatives is the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act (EITD). The EITD is a great way for the U.S. to make the first step in showing the world about fighting corruption.
In addition, their is already an initiative started by the British Prime Minister that is essentially trying to accomplish the same goal (EITI).
Helping out with these types of initiatives seems to me, to be one of the most important kinds of work one can do because not only are you helping the citizens of these nations (thousands of which are raped and killed every year because of poverty and bad government) but you are also bringing stability to these areas, which will help end violence and potential terrorism as well as help the global economy.
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (eitransparency.org)