(#46) Christmas Card Stuffing at AIDS Project Los Angeles (December 12, 2014)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

I saw a listing on Volunteer Match looking for some office help in the middle of the afternoon one day. By the time I saw the listing, the event had already started. But since it wasn’t too far from my house, I went over there any way to check if they could use me. Sure enough, they could!

I met this really fabulous, fun man who said, “nice to meet you.” This is why you always use Drew Carey’s “nice to see you.” He’d actually met me very briefly before when I tried to help with this organization (but they were more than fully staffed). I’m actually pretty glad he didn’t remember me. Why would I want him to remember the girl who had nothing to do?

I’m so glad that I tried again with APLA! I felt so welcomed and impressed from the moment I entered their building. Every person I met was extremely friendly. Also, by the looks of things, it seemed like this organization does a whole lot. So, I was more than happy to help them.

I was set up in a cubical to address and stuff envelopes (as I was the only one who came for the shift after all).

One thing that was so interesting to me was that I’d heard about high schoolers who’d come earlier in the week and didn’t know how to address an envelope! What? Is mail seriously that obsolete that teenagers really don’t even know how to address an envelope? I could see it happening. (It obviously did happen.) But it blows my mind nonetheless.

Fairly soon into my task, I made my own makeshift standing desk with a box (because I can go a little nuts if I sit for too long).

I thought about putting on a podcast and zoning out a bit. But I feel like lately I’ve always had something in my ear. I’m always semi-distracting myself from a commute or simple task. And this time I decided no, I just want to think.

I got to listen to some of the conversations around me, and hear about planning events. (It must be so fun and busy to work at a non-profit.)

I also got lost in my own thoughts a bit… I was being considered for a job in New York. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get it. But I was thinking about what I’d done with my time in California, and what I would do with my time in New York.

The task itself was very simple. I had all the supplies I needed, and a very easy list from which to read addresses. (APLA’s address was already beautifully pre-printed on their envelopes.) They had plenty of that special sticky envelope glue stuff so I didn’t have to lick any envelopes. They thought of everything and made it as easy for the volunteer as possible.

At the end of the day, Tarik thanked me so much for all my work. He made me feel so appreciated, and he even took the photos you see here in the post so I could document the day on my blog!

I had a great time, and I’d happily help them out anytime in the future!

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