Chaos Attraction

I Got Nominated For An Award!

2014-03-07, 3:59 p.m.

So Operation Be Practically Perfect In Every Way has gone swimmingly this week. I have gotten in no trouble and have pleased everyone and have been perky in meetings and all has been well. LET'S KEEP THIS UP.

But here's the funny thing: Today I got nominated for a community service award by the CC. When I saw the e-mail I busted out laughing for five minutes. I had my boss come over to look and she gave me a hug and said she'd put it in my file. My boss is awesome.

So I filled out the form and wrote out the essay and all that jazz and sent it in. Now much to my bit of disappointment upon reading their website, due to my lack of volunteer hours (I do 200+ a year and they only give out anything if you do 500+), I can't actually really get anything for it after all. Not even listed on the website in perpetuity, I guess. What a bummer. But oh well, any little bit helps for bragging rights, I suppose. I probably wouldn't be a top pick anyway given the nature of my volunteer job and that it's not helping the homeless/elderly/ill, etc., which according to the website seems to be what they hand out awards for. But I am proud of my essay because it focuses on something that no "regular" volunteer job does, something that I think most folks don't even think about as a thing in life.

I have decided to share the essay with you all so you can see what I mean:

I have been volunteering at the Craft Center as a front desk worker (and eventually as an instructor) every quarter since spring 2004 & I love it. Before then, I was not interested in volunteering anywhere & had not really done so beyond working at events occasionally. I had the impression that all volunteering jobs were just hard, depressing labor involving food service or construction & were no fun at all. I was taking a jewelry class at the Craft Center during winter 2004 & was told by the instructor that anyone who worked there could get in on selling their crafts at the CC's booth at the Whole Earth Festival. That was enough to motivate me to make sure I got in as a front desk volunteer.

Now I can't imagine life without the Craft Center in it. This is the best volunteer job ever as far as I am concerned--it fuels you rather than drains you because you give something awesome back to everyone in so many ways & they give back to you as well. I love the community, the employees, & the patrons. We serve not only the student community, but the general adult population of the Sacramento area as well & children in the summer. I've even recruited people from the Bay Area to drive in & take classes. Craft centers are hard to find, especially outside of the Bay Area, & most of them are not very affordable or accessible compared to us. Everyone who either works or attends classes here is incredibly nice & we all relate to each other through our love of making things.

I find that making things helps people to feel that they are more artistic & capable than they ever dreamed of. I've worked some of "The BUZZ" and other crafting night events for the Craft Center (doing henna tattoos, helping people make beaded bracelets, or helping them cut up T-shirts into more interestingly styled shirts) & it really delighted me to see how even people who don't consider themselves to be artistic became really happy when they made anything, no matter what it was & even if it was something they might normally not have been into such as using pony beads or cutting up a plain brown shirt. As long as they made something, they were feeling joy. This place welcomes anyone & gives them a great emotional & mental boost when they succeed at learning something new & pretty that they can do & share with others. It can also be stress relief from the harder things in life they have to deal with. I love talking to the patrons about how their projects have come out & how they might need help on them & what they can do to change it.

I love how everyone gets inspired by other people's work, & how people who work & craft here have been able to branch out into starting their own businesses or craft studios. I would not have tried selling crafts, donating projects to the staff auction, or teaching (T-shirt reconstruction, sewing, & glass mosaic classes) without the nurturing environment of the Craft Center supporting me & encouraging me to branch out into doing that. I've had students come back & show me the work that they've finished & done on their own time, which is great. The Craft Center also offers the opportunity for the staff to have gallery shows of their work. I have had one gallery show here in 2010, participated in a group show, & will be having another one this summer, giving me a chance to show my work & talk about it with others.

This place is a home away from home for anyone who loves to make things, it's where I met most of my local friends, & it's somewhere I promote at any possible opportunity to anyone even remotely interested in the topic. I encourage people who walk in for the first time to sign up to be a volunteer & have recruited several of my friends into volunteering as well. I even did a presentation this year at my work about the Craft Center's history & range of classes. So far only one other person at my work has taken a class here yet, but I live in hope. And maybe reading this this will encourage you to come by as well!

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