Growing up volunteering was second nature to our family. My father owned a local business and was forever giving back to the community. I can't remember how many fund raising BBQ's we were
dragged, lovingly went to and
assisted my Dad with the cooking. Every Christmas the Lions Club would
ask my father to sell their fruit cakes in his store, which he did every
year. What they did not know is that whatever my father did not sell he
would personally buy and then give to his staff. My father was awarded
the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from the Lions Club for everything he had
done over the years, even the Rotary Club gave them their highest award and he
wasn't even a member. (Yes, there is a purpose to this blog, stay with
When my father was murdered (yup, going to be blunt here) my Mother asked the local Lions Club to help with the food after the funeral. We knew that there were going to be a lot of people attending. People were flying in from all over the world, myself included. Our family was dealing with this horrific tragedy and literally thank God for my sister-in-law, V, who kept us all sane, my Mother thought that this small request would not be a major issue. The response my Mother received from the Lions Club was "It was too short notice for them to do anything, but they would all be at the funeral." SHORT NOTICE are you shitting me!!
Fast forward to the day of the funeral. I cannot tell you how many people there were at the funeral, but outside the Church there were speakers and lots of extra chairs as well, suffice to say there were hundreds. My Mother made sure that all of us children had taken a Xanax before the funeral and let me tell you, Xanax and Scotch Whisky are the bomb.
As I approached the Church hall I noticed some people from the Lions Club in their jackets weighed down with all their badges and accolades, I marched, okay stumbled a titch, but finally made it to their little group as they were stuffing their faces with food and slurping down as much wine as they possible could. I then loudly said "Enjoy your last meal on my father." I would have said more, but my dearest cousin who had flown in from Australia whisked me away as fast as he could. I think I also yelled something about the 'gravy train'. It comes back in flashes.
I am passionate about volunteering, I will do whatever to help a cause I believe in. Don't give me awards or accolades, just work along side me to help. I BELIEVE my father deserved more from an organization that he devoted much of his time to and I know that my father would just shake his head at me and give me a hug and just tell me it's okay and to remember why we volunteer.
Why this blog rant? Currently I am volunteering for an organization in our new home town and am gobsmacked at the egos involved. I have learned a huge lesson, I guess one I should have learned a while ago from my fathers funeral. There are people who show up and do the tough volunteer jobs (like BBQ in the rain and buy the unsold fruitcakes) and then there are those that are all about stuffing their faces and putting badges on blazers and puffing up like peacocks.
I can just see my Dad's face right now, shaking his head and saying "Nubian, just remember why you are doing this." I do Daddy, it is just at times like this I dearly would love to just reach out and bitch slap someone and then present them with another badge for their collection.
I hope you don't mind me saying though that your Dad would be proud of you I bet.
I'm with dbs.ReplyDelete
Don't even know what to say.
In volunteering, I've learned that I can only take the satisfaction in knowing I've done the helpful thing, the right thing. Unfortunately, the thank you's are few and far between. I'm sorry you're dealing with ego's and I wish I could help deliver a few bitch smacks. Hope that it gets better.ReplyDelete