A few months ago, I wrote for Daily NYC about volunteering at Housing Works. I started volunteering last year in late March, coming in almost every Sunday for four hours of coffee brewing, washing dishes, helping customers decide which sandwich they’d prefer and chatting with my co-volunteers and the staff members. Although some Sundays I’m tired and don’t feel like leaving my bed, the cozy environment of the bookstore and the hectic lunchtime rush of the cafe wakes me up (even more so than the caffeine in the delicious Intelligencia coffee we serve).
One of my favorite things about working there is getting to see various events while I work. While there are rarely events during my usual shift (aside from The Moby Dick Marathon last month), I’ve filled in a few times for weeknight shifts and I’ve seen a president debate party, a country music jamboree, a Canadian music panel, a book launch party complete with reading and so much more.
But more than the actual work, the events and the free coffee, it just feels good to volunteer. I guess as a former Girl Scout, I just want to help (whether in the broader sense of volunteering or the more literal sense of “here, let me hold the door for you”) and I had been missing that in recent years. This has helped.