When I moved to Long Island, I registered at the local Catholic church. On the registration form there were boxes next to a couple different volunteering opportunities that you could check if you were interested. On impulse, and without really thinking about it, I checked the box next to "catechist." I was surprised when I got a call to ask if I would teach a first grade class that didn't yet have a teacher. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would - I have never been quite sure how to just jump in and start talking to younger kids but I grew to really enjoy the kids I taught. The next year I volunteered to teach two classes, a second grade class (the first-grade kids I had taught the previous year) and a fifth grade class.
After that year, though, it was time to move on. I moved further east to be closer to college. I moved around quite a bit the next couple of years and because my schedule kept changing, I didn't really feel comfortable trying to find any volunteering activities because I didn't have a stable schedule.
I've been living in Bellmore, though, since last summer, and it looks like I'll be here for a little while as I establish myself, so over the summer I called up the church I've been attending (and had registered at when I moved here) and got information in regards to becoming involved as a Eucharistic Minister. I went to the training before I went to Ireland, and since I've been back I've been involved in a few Masses. It's easy work; I wind up only doing on average two Masses a month, maybe three, and that's that.
I'd still like to be more involved, but I'm not sure how I can manage. Until the employment situation pans out and I know what I'll be doing, I can't plan to take part in anything that meets during the week. Depending on the job I get offered - if I get offered anything - I'll be bouncing back and forth between that job (which might just be substitute teaching); tutoring the required 10 hours I need to keep my teaching assistantship, at the LIU Writing Center; and tutoring for CLC. The day job I get will affect which hours I tutor at the Writing Center, which in turn will affect which hours I will be available for CLC, which will affect the remaining free time I could give to volunteering. I'd like to volunteer for the St. Barnabas Rosary Society, which only meets once a month in the evening, but I'm not sure I'll be free Monday evenings; or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, but I'd really not be able to give them much time at all. I'd like not to have to go into the city on the weekends. I'm willing to go in five days a week, but I'll be running around so much as it is that I may just have to drop my gig at CLC - especially if I get a teaching job or if I'm subbing.
If I weren't registered for three classes, this would be a lot easier. I had to make the decision as to what I wanted to put first in all of this, and I put grad school ahead of everything else, figuring that a teaching job may or may not be in the cards right now, and I needed something to make myself feel like I was pushing myself ahead. It's now one week before the 2007-2008 academic year starts, and I dislike not knowing how I'll afford to feed myself.