The Year of Giving Has Begun!

And so my year of giving officially has begun (although technically it started a couple months ago when I began sponsoring children through World Vision and Compassion International)!

A couple days ago I counted up the spare change I collected in December, and I came up with just about $13.  It's not a lot, but then I was out for a few days here and there during the month so it could have been more.  I'm pretty sure I'll end up with about $20 in January.  In any case, I'll be taking that $13 to Harris Teeter this weekend to load up on groceries that I can take to the local food bank.  HT is running super-doubles coupons this week, so I should be able to get some good stuff on sale to give to the food bank this month.

I got an email the other day that my volunteering background check was being done and that I should hear back soon about when I can start volunteering at the hospital where I work in Charlotte.  I've told them I can be available to volunteer the hour before work or the hour right after work, 1-2x a week. They require that I do 100 hours of volunteering in 2011, and at 2 hours a week I will easily meet that requirement AND have fun doing it (envision me in a candy-striper uniform from the 1950s, please).

Sometime in the next couple of months I intend to go to a civic meeting about volunteering in my town where I live.  This group has a more intensive process to become a volunteer, but after attending 3 meetings in a row I'll be put on a 6-month probationary period during which I do the actual training and volunteer work.  This volunteering is also requires that I take a basic EMT course sometime in the next year.  For this reason I'm planning on waiting until the spring to get started on this portion of my mission to volunteer more of my time to helping others, so that I can be sure that I'm ready for the high level of commitment in order to do 12 hours a month of volunteering for this organization.  I know at some point when I was laid off I considered taking a basic EMT course, but that was when I wasn't working and had more free time available while the kids were in school.  Taking the course while I'm working full-time may be TOO laborious for now.  We'll see though – I may get super-excited about doing it once I attend the meetings.
My other mission for 2011 was to spend various days throughout the year fasting in remembrance of those who have no food, and as a reminder for all the blessings I have been given.  My first day of fasting will be coming up within the next week – I hope you'll join me for that. 
That's my update for now.

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