For two years I was on the Board of Directors for a Non-Profit suicide hotline. I did shifts talking to people on the edge of despair, was a supervisor over new members of the hotline, was a trainer of prospective members and was acting Vice President. Basically, that organization was my life when I wasn’t working or in class. I can’t remember what my final count of hours was; I think I resigned after 700 or 800. I became convinced that I wanted to enter the Non-Profit field some day and make a difference; but some things made me a bit cautious about following this career path. Non-Profits can pay well if you’re high enough in the organization and have the right education and background, but for most careers you barely make enough to scrape by. We can’t all be the Chief Executive of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club (link: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/03/12/national/main6292413.shtml)

Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, received a total compensation of $988,591 in 2008, according to the charity’s tax filings. She got a base salary of $360,774, a bonus of $150,000 and other compensation of $83,152, for a total of $593,926. She also received $385,500 in deferred compensation, most of which went to a retirement plan, and $9,165 in nontaxable benefits.

That’s a lot of dough.

I was talking to a friend about it and she pointed out that what I do does make a difference, it’s just harder to see. My company creates software that helps other companies in a variety of areas – safety compliance, saving money, removing ineffective procedures, etc. While it’s not exactly preventing suicides, I don’t think what I do isn’t worthwhile (was that a triple negative? I need more sleep).

So, since I’m not sure if I want to join a Non-Profit as a career, I’m sitting on the fence until I know more about what I want out of life. To fill the void that leaving my old Non-Profit left, I decided to get involved with some charities in Hometown. Unfortunately, the charities here are vastly different than the ones by Generic College. Since Generic College encouraged a younger set of people to live there, the Non-Profits were usually easy to join and filled with young people. There was a lot of flexibility in hours to volunteer since most people had jobs and went to school. Here in Hometown, it’s a tiny little town and a retirement area. There aren’t as many charities, plus the ones that are around are looking for people to work during the day…but I’m busy at Anonymous Software Company. Basically, all of the charities are filled with volunteers around retirement age. I tried looking through the small nearby college, but their volunteer page is sadly out of date and lists only a handful of places, all of which I had already looked in to.

So far I’ve continued searching, but haven’t found anything that grabs my interest. There may be an art place that looks promising and I’ve sent an inquiry, but haven’t heard back yet. What’s a girl to do when she wants to give her time and effort, but no one is willing to let her volunteer on weekends?

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