Daily Archives: August 17, 2012

Volunteering has its perks


Where we live, students have to have a minimum of 75 service hours to graduate. They can start earning them the summer after 5th grade. Most places where you can earn hours don’t allow volunteers under 15. Those that do allow younger ones require a parent to be with the kids. That first summer, Mel and I volunteered at Days End Farm, a rescue group in MD. I love horses but spending the summer in 100 degree heat, mucking stalls and doing other horsey maintenance was not high on the list of repeat performances. Still, Mel earned 45 hours.

We didn’t do much last year so I made it my mission that this summer to find a nice inside a building volunteer gig. As we’re both kinda crafty, finding Scrap DC was a very cool thing. Scrap is a creative reuse center. They get donations of all sorts of materials and then sell some and use others to run workshops, do demos, have classes etc.

A week ago, we were there when a woman came in with box after box of all sorts of electronic supplies. Apparently her father-in-law had been a “spy” and once he retired, he started a business that had the description of “Counter measures for eavesdropping.” How cool is that? He passed away last year and they had no clue what to do with all his stuff.  Then she found out about Scrap.  She came in again yesterday with cabinets full of gear. There were circuit boards, capacitors, resistors, knobs, transistors, ic circuits etc. Mel and I spent the day sorting boxes of mixed loose stuff into empty drawers in the cabinets. Some of it found its way home with me as well. That’s the danger of this volunteering gig – I end each session by shopping.