Notes from a bitch…

The financial markets are in turmoil and the federal bail-out is in question…or at least it was when I started writing this (wince).
Seems like the perfect time for a discussion about volunteering to this bitch!
Step up on soap box…fluff Afro…continue.
For the past five years I have volunteered at local women’s shelters for homeless pregnant teens and new mothers. I teach voter education classes, basic budgeting and women’s health classes. Through the years I have had the honor of witnessing knowledge empower young women to take control of their lives and I have also been confronted with the personal damage done through the anti-knowledge anti-choice agenda.
But one thing that this bitch has also witnessed is the lack of active volunteering to support community organizations and programs that address reproductive justice issues.
Now catch that knee before you hurt someone!
I’m certainly not flying solo in my efforts and that’s not what a bitch is trying to say.
But there are mentor positions unfilled, after school classes in need of tutors…and so forth and so on…in every community across America.
As feminists we must challenge ourselves to be activists online and offline…to lead by example and give some of our time back to our communities.
And hey, there’s a personal benefit too! My understanding of the challenges facing teen mothers has grown through my partnering with them in my classes…the complexity of poverty, the inadequacy of the system, the failure of abstinence-only education, the crisis of sexually transmitted diseases and the lack of funding for programs that could make a real difference are up close and personal issues for me now.
So, if you are already a volunteer in support of feminist causes and organizations in your community then go on with your bad self!
And if you are not donating your time now is a good time to ask yourself why.
Do you think you have to have a Ph.D. in women’s studies to teach a class? Because you don’t…most local shelters already have programs that need support. Or perhaps you don’t like to join groups? That’s okay, because you can always develop your own program, make your own schedule or volunteer with a group that doesn’t require membership! Hell, that’s how I go started.
Or do you think that you’re too busy?
Well, you’re not!
Okay, a bitch doesn’t really know how busy you are, but odds are you have a couple of hours a month to spare….right?
Go forth, get active and donate your time…
…and your money, if you’re one of the blessed few to still have any of that shit left (wink).

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