14 June 2010

American Volunteerism Series : Intro

The natural disasters over the past few years (ie. Haitian earthquake, Tsunami, Katrina, and so on) have contributed to an outpouring of the desire to help.  [J. at Tales From the Hood has been working on a series of posts that he has titled American Culture 101 where he has tried to understand why people feel the desire to help.]  Bloggers continue to write posts about the issue, but it appears that they fall on relatively deaf years.

What I would like to do is to use my thoughts and those of aid experts to build a series based on American volunteerism.  The series will be my attempt to be a thorough as possible in terms of what volunteering means, how it is done, why it is done, what it means for ourselves, what it means for those who we ‘help’, and finally what new volunteerism should look like.

The series will begin with my first post this Friday and will continue with Friday posts over the next few weeks.  Friday will talk about the different faces of volunteering in America.  From Soup Kitchens and Habitat for the Humanity to large gala fundraisers and tricky trays.  I will do what I can to list, describe and understand the differing parts of volunteering in America.  I will do my best to withhold any of my personal feelings about different parts of volunteering until later in the series.

In doing this I ask for two things:

  1. Please feel free to contribute ideas and comments.  I have laid out what I want to do, please even begin to comment, email or call my google voice, if you have ideas.  If I miss something please let me know and I will update a post to include your suggestions.  Comments will also keep me in check if I begin to inject opinion in posts where it should not exist.
  2. Let me know if I am missing any citations for statements I make or things I reference.  I will do my best to keep on top of this, but I will definitely miss things in this series.  So, if I have not given due credit to your blog or somebody else’s, let me know by including what should be cited and a link to where the original can be found and I will be sure to credit you.

Be on the lookout for Friday’s post: How Do Americans Volunteer?