Saturday, November 29, 2008

Meeting People by Getting Involved

One way that you may think about getting involved with your community and meeting new people is by volunteering. This year, Liz and I, stuck around Cincy for Turkey Day and became involved with Give Back Cincinnati's Fall Feast at the Duke Energy Center. For most of my life, I have been involved in some type of volunteer activity, but ironically, when i moved to cincinnati, i became very busy with work and somehow volunteering got left off my activity list. But what better time to volunteer than the present, so I began searching for volunteer organizations in the area. I was first introduced to Give Back Cincinnati by a guy I had a "first date" with almost a year ago and thought I should check it out. Prior to Fall Feast, Liz and I decided to attend one of Give Back's informational sessions in West Chester. The event occurred at a Wine bar and was quite low-key but perfect as an introduction to the group. We met several of the group leaders and decided this would be a good group to join.

So, Fall Feast 2008. What can I say? It was a wonderful, fulfilling, and fun experience. We arrived at the 9am scheduled time where we signed up to be servers for the meal. Now the only downside to the event was that we had quite a bit of waiting around to do and probably didn't need to really arrive until 10am. Doors opened at 11am to the public. We were in groups of 3 to serve approximately 6-7 tables for each group. What was really interesting about this event was that there were 200 volunteers whose primary job was to sit, talk, and eat with community members who needed hot meals. It is important to note that this event wasn't just for homeless populations, but for anyone who wanted to eat turkey dinner with the community. In fact, runners from the Thanksgiving 10K run, trotted over to the DukeEnergy Center to check out the event and hydrate themselves. I met several wonderful volunteers and several individuals from the community. Some of the most rewarding experiences stemmed from conversations with people in the community and I will definitely volunteer for this event next year.

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