From Volunteerism Gazette
Our reporter Don J Volau reports on an unusual initiative taking place in November.
“What we are looking for is an online get together globally for those who know that volunteering is nice and very sweet. We believe that if volunteering had a taste it would be marmalade. Sweetly, sticky, traditional, unchanging pure volunteerism confined to a beautiful old fashion strong jar” So said the convener of Service Marmalade, Al Touristic, at the initiatives media launch today in New York New York.
Service Marmalade is being set up to represent those within service who are concerned that traditional volunteering is losing its way. Said spokeswoman Annette Curtin “Pure volunteering was always about service given by people who made long term commitment to organisations. People who were engrossed in the muck and mire of struggling society. We have no time for so called “emerging trends” in volunteering and believe such trends are fabricated and even if they do exist they give volunteering a bad name.”
When asked to expand on Ms Curtin’s statement Mr. Touristic said that “volunteering today was being hijacked by so called experts and consultants and interest groups and by the corporate world” I asked Mr. Touristic to explain further
“Now you take Volunteer Management” he said
“No thanks you take it” I retorted
He went on “Let’s not beat about the bush here – there are people out there for example with the nerve to think that managing volunteers is a sector or a specialized skill. Now give me a break please. We all know that volunteers don’t need management. The whole idea of the volunteering movement is that it does not need any one person to take a lead. We turn up. We know what to do! Don’t insult us by putting us into boxes and confining us by your training and orders and rules and regulations. If we wanted that we would return to the paid workforce!”
Service Marmalade will attempt to attract people with similar views around the world. Its Motto “I’m Nice and I volunteer” is intended to weed out those who volunteer for greedy reasons. “If people volunteer because they want to gain experience or a reference then we say that this is not real volunteering!” Said Marmalade Marketing Manager Ima Neejit. Ms Neejit explained “ what is this episodic volunteering all about? –it’s just a silly buzz word for people who couldn’t bother making an effort to volunteer more than once a week I say!. As for Corporate Volunteering?? Don’t get me started on this. Now there’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard of one.” When I asked Ima Neejit to explain how exactly that was an oxymoron she declined to answer and left the office.
Despite critics Al Touristic said that he expected good support for the Service Marmalade. “I am quietly optimistic that the odd national peak body will come on board for this.” When I asked him if they were indeed odd for considering attendance at his event he too stormed out of the room!
Copyright Volunteerism Gazette October 2010
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