Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spotlight: Volunteer Odyssey

I want to spotlight a great local organization this week - Volunteer Odyssey. I’m lucky to have worked alongside many of these people when they came to SRVS, but that’s just a tiny piece of it. The whole project has a much broader scope.

Sarah Petschonek quit her job in Fall 2012 and volunteered at 30 different Memphis organizations in 30 days, blogging about the entire experience. I followed along as this was happening, in awe of what she was accomplishing. Sarah says her volunteering is selfish, because she loves doing it; with that sentiment, I was hooked. I felt the exact same way when I started volunteering at SRVS. I was eager to follow Sarah’s journey and see what organizations she visited. After that experience, Sarah went on to volunteer across the country, and felt so passionately about her experience that she developed Volunteer Odyssey.

Volunteer Odyssey gives people an “Odyssey Week” – seven days of volunteering at seven different Memphis nonprofits. The organizations are picked to fit the interests of the volunteer. The goal is to give back to the community while networking and job-searching, instead of sitting at home submitting resume after resume. Many volunteers blog about going outside of their comfort zones in certain situations, but all love their experiences with the nonprofits.

The Volunteer Odyssey participants who have come to SRVS have been high quality, caring people. They’ve helped us do everything from cleaning up after a flood, to tutoring one-on-one in classrooms, to creating art projects with small groups. You can read about their experiences at SRVS here, but I recommend checking out ALL the blogs. I’ve loved meeting so many kind, giving, and driven people in this city, and I love that something like this exists here.

I’ve had my new position of volunteer coordinator for a little over a month now (oh, did I forget to mention that? I’m now a proud SRVS employee!), and working with Sarah and all her volunteers has been a fantastic way to get a feeling for this job. It’s so much fun to work with people who share your passion for volunteering and the community! I hope everyone will check out Volunteer Odyssey and be inspired.

Volunteer Odyssey Bloggers SRVS Worked With:
Rivers @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Kevin @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Atina @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Samantha @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Brittany @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Alicia @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Miki @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Child Volunteer (SRVS Disability News)
Ellen @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Rae-Anne @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Ann-Katherine @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Michael @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)
Adriene @ SRVS (Volunteer Odyssey)

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