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 Post subject: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:33 am 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Hi all,

I usually hang out at Pens but I've been wondering about this. I know that Kittens are extremely generous, supportive, loving people. I'm wordering how different Kittens contribute to the community.



This season I'm volunteering at a Community Tax Preparation Center. We prepare and e-file tax returns for low-income people, particularly taking advantage of available tax credits. An estimate by the group says that in Austin alone, tax payers probably over pay taxes by $24 million because they fail to take the Earned Income Credit (worth up to $4000 per family). We haven't been very busy in the first two weeks and I did my first return last week and felt great about it.



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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:13 am 
Hey :bigwave



I'm feeling tired and kinda brain dead so I'll ramble on and hope that something is relevent...:lol



Hockay, what have I done to contribute to the comunity? Um....its mostly just volenteering in charity shops. I helped out in an RSPCA shop, that was fun. Cudda got paid for it if i worked during the week but i have school. heh. Also I usally just do little things like give toys to charity and that kinda stuff. In the end it doesn't look like much but I try to help hehe.

Okay going now...:yawn



Jess xxx

'You're my angel of salvation, and hope, and strength...your my multi-angel'-Jay (My baby)

.:~*My anime site*~:.



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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 2:21 pm 
Great idea. Here are two programs (domestic U.S. and international) that I heartily endorse:



1) Meals on Wheels - You'll have to Google Meals on Wheels to find your local chapter, but MoW is quite possibly one of the best local, community focused organizations in my opinion in the U.S. If you're not familiar, MoW provides meals (typically two a day) to home bound elderly. In addition to meals for the senior shut-ins, many MoW organizations provide food for the elderly's pets, and schedule pet help like vet trips and even dog walking. A lot of the local chapters offer really flexible volunteering schedules (as little as one hour a week doing things like sorting pet food), and all always happily accept donations (whatever you can give, even if it's $5). A very worthy cause, for sure.



2) Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) - Incredible international aid organization, MSF can be found providing care in the world's most dangerous places, to the world's most overlooked and needy communities. You can volunteer, but I think most would feel comfortable donating - over 80% of donations go toward program services, so you know your money is going toward helping people and not padding some executive's salary. And, if they meet their fundraising goal for a particular crisis (you can select which programs you'd like your money to support) as they did with the recent tsunami disaster, they'll advertise the fact and advise you to either donate to their general fund or another crisis (for instance, Sudan).



Of course, another thought if you are looking for hands-on volunteer work, check with local schools and see if there is anything you can do to help. Many schools lack chaperones for school trips, or classroom assistants. Some schools would even be interested in having you come and speak about your career (a little thing that can go a long way), and I know that donations of school supplies are often welcome.



Hope this helps and good luck with the volunteering/donating!



Edited to add: I have an aquaintence that is raising money to help fight cancer by hiking a section of the Grand Canyon. She's raising money using Active.com's Active Giving. From what I understand it's fairly easy to set up a fundraising endeavor using this system, although I can't personally vouch for it because I haven't used it. But, it might be worth looking into if you're looking for a unique way to raise money for a good cause.



Edited by: EasierSaid at: 2/17/05 4:05 pm


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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:47 pm 
Hey everybody,



How do I give back to the community?



We have an organization where I live called the Atlanta Lesbian Cancer Initiative (ALCI) that I have been a member of for over a year now. There is always an opportunity to help someone with something. Giving a ride to an appointment, or helping someone around the house for a couple of hours. The ALCI is now broadening it's scope to include women with any type of serious disease process.



One of things I have always wanted to do was to be a part of the first aid team at the local Pride Festival/Parade which will be in June.:pride I have to have my license, which I am diligently working on. I also give back to my community by frequenting gay owned/friendly establishments!



Oh yeah, I used to volunteer at Project Open Hand which is sort of Meals on Wheels for PWA's. But now, I like to go to benefits and donate to PALS (Pets are Loving Support). PALS provides food and some vet care for the pets of PWA's, we think it is really important for People with Aids to be able to continue keeping their pet(s).



My best friend's aunt is a missionary in Haiti, Kathy and her girlfriend want me to go down there with them this year. They go every year and carry lots of medical supplies. I would like to go, but I am starting a new job, not sure if that will be feasible yet.



I think EasierSaid has some good ideas for volunteering. It feels funny to talk about one's own activities, I would encourage people to find something meaningful to them and do something, no matter how small you think it is, small things can have a big impact! :D

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Edited by: tybee317 at: 2/9/05 7:13 pm


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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:53 am 
I was a volunteer for two local First Aid Squads for 17 years. I've seen some pretty nasty things but they were made up for by the two times I delivered a baby in the ambulance. I have to say especially as a mother myself, that was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. I've also been on one of the first crews that successfully used a semi automatic defibrilator and brought someone back to life. Sure the training is hell because you always have to keep up with new and improved training but it paid off. I get more money at work now because I'm a Nationally Registered EMT-D.



I've also been a volunteer for an animal rescue group. We are not a shelter. All of our adoptees are kept in foster homes. I can't have dogs here so I take in cats and kittens. Thats hard when they get real home and I have to give them up. But I know they are going to be happy and the adoptive families always send me pictures.



Well, I'm off to work now. I hope eveyone has a great day.



Love to All,

Barb

Now serving Bitter, party of one. Your table is ready.



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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:14 am 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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This thread has been burried for a while. I set up my schedule for the season of tax-preparing this week. I was waiting for my brother to be ready to set his and he called a few days ago. We're both doing taxes every Thursday night from 6-9. I'm looking forward to it and not just because I'll get to see my brother every week. The only real downside is that it's really hard to have a day when I don't see my son very much. He will either be asleep or close to it when I get home and we both really miss each other.

On a humorous note: My wife got an e-card today that some friends donated a goat in our name. Seriously, you can donate money to give a goat, pig, goose, or cow to an impoverished family. They are supposed to agree that when the animal has offspring, they will give one to another impoverished family. Cool.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:25 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Very cool! And that Earned Income Credit is a huge help to a lot of people. I'm an Enrolled Agent, and have been meaning to volunteer to prepare returns this coming tax season. Your post reminded me that I need to get off my butt and make contact with one of the local organizations that helps provide this service. So, thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:47 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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I spent four years as a Scout leader, and loved working with the kids. Especially since I was only about eight years older than the younger ones when I started, it really gave me a cool "big sister" feeling when they would come to me for help with their problems, or homework, or just having fun hiking and camping.
Alas, now that I'm in retail, I don't really have the flexibility to do that anymore, so I stick with donating money to the United Way. When I get a more steady job, though, I think I'd love to help out with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:37 am 
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5. Willowhand
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Wow...so many gorgeous Kittens!

Well, I've been stuck in High School and unable to do much. However, now that it's finished, I've become a volunteer for the RSPCA (the Australian animal protection organisation). It's only for three hours a week, but I love doing it:)

*hugz*
~Gabs

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:28 am 
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8. Vixen
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Cool thread.

I was part of Doctors without Borders (I am a doctor) for 6 months. Most of the time I was in Haiti and it was such an amazing experience, I can't even begin to explain it through words.
My gf and I are always taking part in volunteer programs (whenever we have time). She's a pediatrician so we usually go for programs that require both adult & pediatric assistance, that way we can be together. :-D Hehe.
Happy holidays, everyone!!!

Karinna

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 2:43 pm 
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Oh really big crap! I wish I'd have seen this thread sooner because then I would have been able to tell kittens about this

Oparation Christmas Child (UK)

Operation Christmas Child (U.S)

It's something I do every year. It's where you fill a shoe box full of things for a child in a less fortunate country and take it to a designated point where it will be flown to them. I usally fill about four of five boxes and actually enjoy myself shopping for the little kids :-D

I also give blood I only have time to do small things, but I take pleasure in knowing they make a big difference :glasses

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:46 am 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Well, tax season is almost done. I have one more week of volunteering. I started out volunteering 6-9 every Thursday but it turned out that the center was very busy 4-6 with very few volunteers so I go in at 4 and stay until it gets slow (7:30 or 8:00). Seriously, a few weeks ago there were 2 of us from 4-5:30 and the woman doing intake told people to leave and come back later. My brother was doing 6-9 but started also coming in at like 5:15 and then we both go eat when it gets slow.

Anyway, I've had a hard tax season in that it's been sad a lot of the time. Our intention is to get people various tax credits and we do our best but sometimes the client is not eligible for the credits because they are too young, too old, or not American (the most common here). And it's sad to me because these people are working hard and trying to live their best life and they owe taxes. Last week I did 5 returns and 4 people owed large tax bills. One was a 67 year old woman who made $11,000 last year and is eligible for no credits and owes $900 dollars in taxes. Obviously, she doesn't have it. She and her sister were literally begging me to find anything to help her and I so wished I could.

This week, though... Last night there were 8 people/families waiting when we opened the door. We had 3 tax preparers so we just started going. I did 2 returns quickly for people getting good refunds and QC'd 2 for another preparer--also getting refunds.

Then I started on the return(s) that made my season. This woman had been there from 4:00 and we started about 5:00. We did her 2005 return. She had been divorced in 2003 (from a guy who sounds like a real winner) and had her house foreclosed in 2005. She said that she's prettty sure the ex was going to claim their daughter on his taxes even though the divorce decree says she can and he can't. But that he said he will because he feels like it (or something like that). Anyway, we did hers (correctly) including multiple W2s, unemployment income, the foreclosure, early withdrawls from IRAs... Bottom line, she's getting back $2500. So she had a lot of paperwork with her and said she didn't file in 2004 or 2003. I said did she want to because we can do those? She said if I thought there was enough time (she kept being very uneasy about taking up our time and I just kept telling her that it was ok because this was why I was there). So I started on 2004 and my brother had just finished a return and started on 2003. Both returns were pretty complicated too but she kind of sat between us and answered questions and handed us documents. Bottom line: $1700 refund and $1500 refund in addition to the $2500. She was nearly crying. She said she hasn't been able to sleep wondering if the IRS is going to come to her door and arrest her. She wrote a note on the computer and took an envelope to make a donation and took down our first and last names and told the manager and did a survey on how wonderful we had been. Out front when I went to shake her hand, she said, "oh no. This requires a hug." We walked her out because we were going to get dinner at taco bell since the crowd had slowed down (it was now 7:00) and she went to her car and came out with $7 and tried really hard to give it to us to pay for the tacos. We said we couldn't take it and to put it in the donation envelope too and she was like, "no one's watching." But we said no and have a great night and etc.

Anyway, it finally felt great to help someone who has a good result from my volunteering.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:31 pm 
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15. Apple Sauce & Tuna
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JustSkipIt wrote:
it finally felt great to help someone who has a good result from my volunteering


Yay, bravo! I am so glad that someone recognised the great job that you do! It makes it worthwhile when you can help someone, and they say thank you, doesn't it!

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Last edited by Candleshoe on Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:21 pm 
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14. Lesbo Street Cred

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Hey JustSkipIt - well done indeed.

Money is always a good thing to give organizations but sometimes nothing is better than donating time and effort - somebody has to! Thanks for being one of those somebodies.
:peace

- Boschi


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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:26 am 
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Well, It' s growing closer to that time of year for me. I'm going to volunteer with the same organization again this year. Tomorrow I have an all day training to get ready for tax season and while I enjoy volunteering, I'm not particularly looking forward to another day spent "working" and certainly not to losing out on a day with my son. Still, I do good...

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:38 am 
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I volunteer at the Shelter for Battered Women, as a English-Spanish translator


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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:18 am 
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3. Flaming O
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how cool that lot of people here is trying to help all over the world!

I volunteer at Greenpeace in spain (Barcelona) there is hard work to do and not enough time but the earths worthes it. I am centered in environment education which means I use to play and talk with children, the kids are amazing and knowing that they go home with some more information about the world they live in and the danger that nature is in makes me want to spend more time working for a better place to live.
soon I'm going to specialize myself because we are opening a new work group for the international campaign "genetic ingeneering" and it will provably be in my charge until more volunteers become interested. so...here's a genetic ingeneering educator for greenpeace!

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:26 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Well, this isn't exactly volunteerism but it's a pretty cool concept. Heifer International is a group that allows you to buy an animal (or set) for needy families all over the world. You can buy water buffalo, chickens, goats, etc. The family makes an agreement that when the animal has offspring, they will give one to another needy family. So you can give this as a gift for someone else. Last year, some friends gave a goat in our name. One thing I like is that even if you only have $10 or $20, you can give a share of an animal.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:17 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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I volunteer for an exchange student organisation(AFS). I lived a year in Germany as an exchange student and it was the best year of my life! so I try to help the ones that now live in my country! Its pretty cool actually, these people are usually very interested and interesting. I really like it and I get to meet german people, I miss Germany so much! If you are interested in having a host student at home just go to http://www.afs.org/AFSI/ it really is a great experience! If you have any question you can also email me : lyralia@hotmail.com!!
take care
Mari

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:54 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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I just heard about this effort, Caps to the Capital, to provide home-made caps to needy chlidren throughout the world. I've been working on one tonight although it may be too small...

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:36 am 
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3. Flaming O
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interesting I volunteer at SACHA not sure if anyone has heard of it its the Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton and Area , its one of the best things I've ever done with my life and extremely intense but I love helping those woman its a feminist organization as well which is awesome for me but anyhow ya that’s it ...


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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:28 pm 
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Shadowygirl - My sister-in-law was a volunteer on the rape crisis hotline all through college. Now she's a nurse and is a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). That means she goes and does the exams. I could definitely not do that job but she feels like she makes a big difference. Good for you too.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:38 am 
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9. Gay Now
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What a great thread!

I give Heifer International. Last year it was chickens! I use them as stocking stuffers for my socking stuffer type friends.

On a more personal level, every year I collect money and then buy new adult and child sized winter coats for Alternatives for Battered Women. In fact we made the annual event into a bit of a fun gathering sort of thing for friends. We call it "Good Karma!". Anyway, we have a local lands end outlet, they have huge sales after christmas especially in february... you can get a down coat for $15!! SinceI live in an awfully cold climate I like to do it after the holiday season. It is so cold in February, and they have no resources. Anyway, we collected enough for 37 coats last year. Yay for Good Karma!

Also, as of late I have been volunteering at a local school -- third graders in particular. I go in during thier sessions about the arctic to talk about Alaska and the arctic circle and stuff. It's fun.

I do other odd stuff, but those I do regularly.

It is hard to make time for this sort of thing, but so necessary.

Thanks for reminding me Debra. I have to schedule my good karma fest real soon!

db

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:56 pm 
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What do I do to give back to the community?..........personally I'd say nothing. Because I don't feel as I give back what I should. I was a volunteer at a YMCA for 11 years before I went to college, and now that I'm on my own, I give back as much as I can to the same Y, and to some other organizations. But is it ever really enough?

writerfreak

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:26 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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I sent my Caps to the Capital yesterday. I ended up making eight of them:

Image

and my partner added 2 and her mom added one. I'll probably do more of them although right now the site says that it was through 1/2/07. I assume they'll do another batch and they're quick and use up the ends of yarn.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:55 am 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Last night was my first night at the tax center. I did one return and felt like it was very slow because we have new procedures that the two managers are kind of walking around doing for us rather than teaching us (one of my peeves). Anyway, the girl who's taxes I did is getting back >$3300 and is getting all three of the credits we really concentrate on (EIC, CDC, Child Tax Credit). So that's really good.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:31 am 
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For 2 years now I been ''volunteering" as president for the university Gay and lesbian association and tonight is my first shift at the womens center on campus.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:47 pm 
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Last night was my last night for the year at the tax center. It was a very good and productive year for me. I probably volunteered about 30 hours besides training. You're supposed to commit to 36 but I just couldn't get it on the schedule. But I did a lot of returns and helped a lot of people. Last night I did a return for a woman getting back $2500, a guy getting back $2400 (and also filled out his documents to apply for a taxpayer id for him and his aunts (in Mexico)) and another woman getting $500. My season was much happier than last year with many of my clients getting relatively big returns. I'm getting to really know the tax code so that's cool. The hardest thing is that I really wish that when I was a Sophomore in college I had taken Spanish rather than Latin. Now I wish I spoke Spanish and I don't.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 7:28 am 
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Hi everyone - one way that I'm going to give back today is to give blood. Every 2 seconds someone in the USA needs blood, but only 5% of eligible people give blood. A group of us are going tonight to the Red Cross to donate.

If you think you'd be interested in giving blood you can find a local blood donation center near you at http://www.givelife.org

Also, if you plan to donate, why not sign a pledge about it on PledgeBank? (PledgeBank is a tool that started in the UK to encourage civic participation and volunteerism and has spread around the world.) It's pretty cool, check it out.

http://www.pledgebank.com/donate-blood

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 Post subject: Re: How do you give back - The Community Service Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 4:46 pm 
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Hey there. I fulfilled my pledge on Sally's (her wife's actually) pledgebank list to give blood today. It went very very well and I got to go out for fish tacos afterwards. Plus which, no workout tomorrow.

Also, I donated money to the local foodbank in memory of my mother for Mother's day.

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