Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Share a survival experience with us and explain what you learned from it. You might help someone.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by Norwegian » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:31 pm

taipan821 wrote:
Norwegian wrote: I'm sometimes nicknamed "destruction leader" for my clumsiness, and the table I broke... and the couch... and the door... :P At least being the janitor means I'm the one that has to fix it so nobody really complains :P
you get a few of those "destruction specialists" in every unit...our resident specialist likes destroying $250 kevlar helmets :shock:
Damn... Fortunately all the damage i have done so far tallies up to about 20$ in screws and glue to repair, I doubt they'd keep me otherwise!

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by tedbeau » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:01 am

I was a board member, then Vice President, then President of the high school Athletic Booster Club. We ran the concessions stands at games, and held a weekly bingo fund raiser. I did that for about eight years total, (four after my daughters had graduated).
Now I am the IDPA match director for my gun club. Technically I do get a free yearly membership for that position, but since I drive about 60 miles a month to run matches and weekly practice sessions the $80 membership doesn't near cover my expenses.
Our club host a regional (multi state) match every May which is one of the largest matches in the state with over 200 shooters. I take a week of vacation prior to the match to do range setup. In addition to the regional, we host a weekly Wednesday night practice and a monthly local match most months.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by NT2C » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:07 am

Up until three years ago when I suffered some serious nerve damage that left me disabled, I was a very active member of the local ham radio community and the county EmComm team (part of fire & rescue). When the 5.8 earthquake hit the national capital region in 2011 I was less than a mile from the epicenter in Mineral, VA (under a friend's sink hooking up his fridge icemaker) and he and I (he is also a ham) had an emergency net up and on the air, complete with a retired geologist (another ham) within 90 seconds, passing vital information to the state emergency management center in Richmond. I manned Red Cross shelters during several hurricanes and even took part in several emergency drills for the local nuclear facilities. Fun, fun, fun!

The local ham radio club I was active in also provided comms for anywhere from one to two dozen events per year, everything from the USMC Historic Half Marathon to one of the biggest East Coast Olympic class triathlons (Colonial Beach Invitational), bicycle races, even things like the Shenandoah 500 Dual Sport ride. My usual job was either following the last runner/rider with my truck (it had full highway warning lights and radio position tracking (APRS)) so streets could be reopened after we were clear of them, or setting up and manning the radio command post (net control) for the event. It was fun work, I have awards all over my walls from doing it (including a nice certificate from the governor of West Virginia), and it allowed me to help support my community in both good times and bad. I wish I could still do this here but it's more than my body is capable these days and, anyway, we're moving to Idaho soon. :(

Back when I lived in Brooklyn, NY (prior to 2000) I spent 14 years as an EMT and driving ambulances, both for pay and as a volunteer with the Williamsburg Volunteer Ambulance Corps. With WVAC I was, at various times and often overlapping, the Public Relations Officer, Dispatcher Training Officer, and Driver Training Officer. Additionally, one of my partners for my pay job was an NYPD Auxillary Police Officer and he and I toured most of the NYPD station houses in Brooklyn on our own time, teaching CPR beginner and refresher classes for officers and their families.

I have also been a Skywarn weather spotter for the National Weather Service for the past ten years and run a CWOP and APRS weather station that reports from my home every 5 minutes, 24/7.

I also run an ADS-B aircraft tracking station (F-KNYG1) for FlightAware24 that tracks ~2,000 aircraft per day in about a 180 nM circle around my home in Virginia.

edit: Oh, and of course, like all ZS staff members, I'm a volunteer here. :wink:
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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by Stercutus » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:34 pm

When the kids were kids I was a Cub Scout Leader. When we lived in East Texas I volunteered for the Red Cross. I also volunteer my time to work security for the town's Christmas Parade every year (not the city I work in, they pay me to do that) and other events.

Lately I have been doing pro bono security work for my church and other religious organizations in the area. Last year for example I ran security for a two day event called Convoy of Hope that drew about 10% of the population of the county in to give away shoes, grocery, haircuts and all kinds of stuff. I actually much preferred seeing some of my "regular customers" in that capacity rather than the normal way.
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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by raptor » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:53 pm

I still do a lot of pro bono work through my church and my wife's synagogue.

I also serve on a pro bono basis on a public advisory board for a local .gov animal shelter. FYI the .gov work is always harder than it should be because the mentality of those being advised is always CYA directed and rarely "lets fix the problem so we do not have to CYA ourselves".
There are a lot of facepalms with it.

The church and synagogue folks on the other hand long ago got the memo that positive results reduces significantly the need for CYA.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by dallas » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:59 am

I am a volunteer doctor at a charity clinic in Houston.

I organize and lead medical missions to the remote regions of the world. Nothing like holding clinics in a room that is way over 100 F with no electricity or running water, or toilets in the town.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by ssgcmw » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:30 pm

I'm a volunteer with the local wilderness search and rescue team. In addition to being out in the woods, I am currently the team's quartermaster which means I am the keeper of the clothing/patches/etc. and maintainer of records.

Every summer I volunteer as a transportation coordinator at an annual music festival.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by lailr » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:07 pm

Big Brothers, Big Sisters......

Luckily, we're in the South, so when we go hunting and stuff, BB/BS uses their culpable deniability :awesome:

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by N01 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:10 pm

When I'm not abroad for work I spent my time as a kayak trainer. I'm specialized in whitewater and downriver.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by Blast » Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:19 pm

Red Cross shelter volunteer in Houston, TX. I was activated for both hurricanes Ike and Harvey. My job was to do the initial check-in of "clients"...usually people who had just lost everything and had been dropped off at the shelter by the Cajun Navy. I was also the shelter go-between with Harris and Montgomery Counties Animal Control to help clients get their pets to safety elsewhere since animals are not allowed in the shelter.

Our shelter is designed to handle 100 people with daily support (food, medical aid, etc) from Houston's main Red Cross facility. Hurricane Harvey cut this supply line and we ended up with 300 people. All routes to my home were cut off so for three days I alternated between being a worker and a as a client there between shifts. Thankfully local restaurants stepped up and brought food but we were desperate for cleaning and disinfecting supplies.

<rant> Two things we had too much of was random bags of unsorted clothing donated by well-meaning people and and people who showed up to volunteer with having gone through the proper Red Cross training and background checks. For liability reasons the Red Cross maintains very high requirements for their volunteers. If you know a local Red Cross shelter has been activated the two best things to bring them is bottles of bleach and pet cages. There was never enough of either of those. </rant>
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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by PistolPete » Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:23 pm

I'm not actively involved with any organizations at the moment, but I have maintained a "if you get get it to my house I'll help you fix it" policy. Last month that was putting a steering pump in a Scion TC for a kid. I also offer free motorcycle lessons to people who want them- that actually how I met my sweetie, as well as her brother and his girlfriend, all who I taught how to ride at different times.

I offer free firearms training as needed, often 1 on 1. I also offer a class I call "Firearms Safety for Pacifists", a gun safety class directed at people who are afraid of guns or even anti-gun. The next one is at the end of this month at a mystical hippy holistic wellness center. I'm looking forward to the questions at that one!
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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by Albert » Thu Dec 10, 2020 8:01 pm

I spent 8.5 years as the Communications Officer on a local governmental emergency/disaster response team (Volunteer). We averaged about one call-out per month, mostly for mundane/stupid things, like someone spilling a gallon of gasoline, or potential severe weather events. But, every so often, we'd have a major event, such as a semi-trailer loaded loaded with a hazardous chemical which jack-knifed into a flooded creek (Had 17 agencies respond to that one, all the way from county constables up to federal EPA, each with their own idea of how to clean it up.). But, emergency response is a young man's game, and I'm too old for that now.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by WillyWinchester » Fri Dec 11, 2020 2:13 pm

I've had a blast cooking in soup kitchens and with Habitat for Humanities. It's the great people you meet that really makes it worth it.
Like Brotato... your nose is falling off.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by dallas » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:03 pm

I volunteer at a community clinic and lead medical missions to Latin America and Vietnam. The more remote the better.

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Re: Who of us volunteers, what do you do?

Post by grumpyviking » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:15 am

I deliver the monthly parish paper magazine in my local area, not as grand as other volunteers but it gets me to see whats going on and who has what in my area.
some people that prefer to be alone are not anti social they just have no time for Drama, Stupidity and false people.

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