The Volunteer Diaries, aka ‘How to Not be a B!*# to Volunteers’ is a parody on volunteering in schools and clubs in Australia.
In episode 1, ‘Soccer Saturday’, our two pretentious soccer mums have nothing nice to say about anyone, especially the volunteers. They do see the light, though, but not before some laugh-out-loud moments.
Do you remember that line from the Principal in Grease? “If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.” Well, it certainly stuck with me – I was never going to be an athlete, so a supporter I was destined to be.
And honestly, I have often wondered if training for a marathon would have been easier than those committee meetings that just drag on, or people who treat you like the hired help. So why do I volunteer? Why does anybody volunteer?
Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go. Volunteers are a misunderstood bunch.
The stereotypes and misconceptions about parent volunteers can approach mythical proportions. The legends take on a life of their own, until parents are advised, well before their children ever attend school, to stay well clear of ‘The Committee’!
As much as that legend is not reality, neither is that other myth that volunteers are the sacrificial heroes of society – the ones standing up, passionately overcoming every obstacle to make the world a better place.
Here’s the simple truth about volunteering.
Most of us aren’t in it because it’s the most fun we’ve ever had.
We’re not in it because we are heroic, evangelical do-gooders.
We’re not in it so we can turn our noses up at those who don’t volunteer.
Most volunteers don’t even do it because we want to change the world.