Community service

12 Apr

One of the first things you learn in recovery is that being of service to others helps keep you clean. It gets you out of self and helps you become involved with your fellow-man. When I was first getting clean, I volunteered for a 12-step recovery group. It was a learning process. Working together with others for a common goal was challenging, but rewarding. Until it wasn’t. It became difficult and a chore to keep my commitments. When my term of service was up, I didn’t reapply.

I didn’t do any community service for quite a while, but I was reminded that getting out of myself and working for others keeps me from focusing on myself. It puts the focus on others.

So I applied for Homeforward’s(the housing authority) Resident Advisory Committee. We help the Board of Commissioners develop policy and to let the commissioners know how their policies affect the people who they are making the decisions about.

When I started in July, I figured it would be great. Five hours once a month. I could add my comments and go home and forget about it until the next month. Boy, was I in for a surprise. What started as a 5 hour once a month commitment has become a part-time unpaid job. I have the regular board meeting. Then there’s a subcommittee meeting for three hours a month. Then all the homework involved reading policies, getting data, understanding the data, making reports, taking the data to the subcommittee meeting and then taking the results from the subcommittee to the regular monthly meeting. With the option to take the reports on to the Board of Commissioners meeting to offer them the results that we came up with.

I also was able to go with the Housing Alliance to the State Capital and meet with the legislators to tell them why I think this set of laws should be passed.

I have also been nominated for a grant writing decision board because I’m in the Resident Advisory Committee, but the complex I live in isn’t applying for one of the grants. I have at least 20 hours of preparation to do before next Wednesday afternoon. I get to read all the grant applications and score their preparedness and completeness. Did they dot their T’s and cross their I’s. Did they ask for what they wanted correctly. (basically I’m the copy editor) Then I get to write out my thoughts about the application so I can take all that information to the grant decision committee meeting next week. I get to do lots of brainwork.

And I’m really liking what I’m doing. Even if I feel overwhelmed a lot of the time.

  • I’m grateful for the opportunity I have been given to learn how the law making process works. And how I can affect it. I’m grateful I can use my experience, strength, and hope to help others make things hopefully better for those who come after me. I’m grateful I don’t have a full-time job on top of this community service stuff. I still like to sleep once in a while.

Night all. LOVES

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