Monday, June 28, 2010

Tales of a Do Gooder Series #1

ok so it has been a while since my last post and I have created a mini-series on the blog called Tales of a Do Gooder. I feel called to write these because I wanted to share with you my experience revolving around my work (granted its all intertwined with what I have to talk about int he regular blog anyway). And boy am I having some tough moments right now. Let me go into detail with what is going on for me.

Currently I am
a) the Office Manager (part-time temp) for Global Community Monitor an environmental justice non-profit
b) the right hand woman (volunteering) of my friend Trey, Program Director for Living labs, a non-profit that does ecological rehabilitation of school yards and works on getting kids learning outdoors
c) may be starting as the Garden Coordinator for Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland (low paying and needing to write grants/fundraise to pay myself more $ and bring in more $ for the program)

I am juggling my time right now with these 3 things. I haven't had work in over a year and haven't had a defined schedule in more than 3 years so my brain is freaking out. I am very detail-oriented and when I cant organize myself it drives me up a wall. a) is only lasting through till Sept and then may move into contract work. b) is what I seem to feel most passionate about helping out with but if I take position c) I wont be able to devote as much time with b)and I don't want to overwhelm myself. But, here is b)'s situation. Living Labs doesn't have any funding right now so we need to fundraise and write grants to fund our school projects and the work we do for salary. seriously, it takes at min. 6 months to get a grant which getting one is a shoe in and up to 2 years to build relationships with personal donors. so no, getting this money is urgent, we need it now to sustain ourselves, time to think outside of the box for real. There has been no planning yet till now with my help and I am trying to get things in order so we can really take the project off the ground and run like the wind with the force of Mastadons getting to work but how can we sustain ourselves without enough human and monetary capital? I want to take more on but I can't, it isn't in my power (yet). And like Trey said, I am the org in .org but I cant even get my org on when I cant control everything or at least get my finger on the pulse of all the stuff happening because it just organized. Position c) isn't organized either, and is asking for a lot of work for little $ (which I am doing for the kids and not the $ but for the amount of things as far as responsibilites/job description, it's a lot for such little amount of income), so how much disorganization am I willing to get myself into?

Note: so I am doing this work because I want to become an educator, I want to get kids outdoors, and get healthier food in their mouths. In the long term I want to marry Waldorf and permaculture education, and reform the systems so that our children get high-quality knowledge that includes "life skills". I want to teach in the schools and work abroad, working with communities, empowering them with the various tools I am learning about like permaculture and non-violent communication (NVC), etc. I want to build community, take back the commons, bring back the village and show people that they can love on another an care for this planet.

so the big theme here is ORGANIZATION. I am having a hard enough time right now trying to organize my own life and now, trying to organize the different positions too. The Do in this Do Gooder is feeling a little stuck. I know I can handle it, maybe I need a yerba mate or something and have a group of friends cheerleading me by my side while I do this work. I certainly don't lack the inspiration anymore but the motivation seems a little daunting.

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