Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Paid Volunteer

The guy from the community organization who mentors kids told me he would like to be a volunteer in the boxing program.  Since I'm not familiar with the kids whom he has signed up for the program, it would be a good idea to have someone in the gym who knows them.  Unlike some people who talk about volunteering, the guy -- Mentor -- knows there is a process that one has to go through in order to be a volunteer.

The Chicago Park District takes volunteering seriously.  Interested individuals have to fill out a form, and the Park District does a background check.  It's not a quick process.  I believe I waited at least three weeks before I heard back from them when I applied to be a volunteer while I was still at Loyola Park.  The main reason for that is most of the activities and programs cater to youths.  The Park District has to be careful about whom they allow around the youths, whether they are volunteers or paid staff members.

I have a couple of individuals who would gladly help me out in the gym.  Their help is really needed now that the 12 and under class is full, and that the 13 and up class is becoming more popular.   I know I can depend on them, and they know the sport.  However, there is resistance on their part about filling out the volunteer forms.  Steve, the field house supervisor, will not let anyone just show up to volunteer without them having applied previously and being approved to do so.  I'll put in a call to those individuals again, but I must emphasize that they have to follow the procedures.

There's a possibility that I might have to wear an extra hat at LaFollette during the summer.  It's a common story; something that wasn't disclosed during the interview process or during employee orientation.  Seasonal employees come in to help run the summer activities, but staff may be pressed into running activities due to a) not having an extra seasonal employee to do that and/or b) based on having a large amount of youths that need to be occupied.  But here's the issue: I do have a job during the day.  It's commissioned based.  I have flexibility with hours, but the bottom line is I have to put in more effort to make money there.  It's a juggling act that I've been successful so far at keeping going. But I'm concerned about perhaps having to take on more responsibilities with the Chicago Park District during the summer and keeping the balance at the day job.  Hopefully I will learn soon if that will be the case so I can make adjustments early on.

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