February 11, 2006

Purple Women as Volunteers

Adults who are not raising children have more time to volunteer/work late/take vacations/pursue hobbies/have a social life. Fill in the blank how ever you like. Some of us learn about volunteering -- becoming a part of that magic thing called "community"-- at home. For others, like me, it may take a seeming lifetime to discover the joys of it.

Local newspapers often feature outstanding community volunteers. Ever noticed the reoccurring theme in the interviews that they give? All of these volunteers talk about the intangible, immeasurable reward they receive in return for giving of themselves. We are not talking money here.
Right now, I'm helping the local No Kidding! chapter host the 5th Annual Childfree Festival in Toronto, Canada June 15-18. We are expecting between 75 and 150 childfree adults to attend. I have had the privilege of meeting many fine Purple WomenTM through this international social club, even though only a handful of the more than 100 childfree individuals associated with the Toronto chapter actually turn up for the regular dinners and other activities. That's all you need to do to be a member -- participate. No Kidding! It's an all volunteer and like other volunteer-based organizations, what you put in is what you get out. There is no office, there is no staff; there is a postal box mailing address, a website and an online message board to keep us connected to each other.

If there isn't a chapter in your area, you can start one. Two volunteers in Vancouver, BC (who happen to be married to each other) serve as the strategic planners and spokespeople for all the chapters. Since the organization was founded by a man from British Columbia, the Vancouver chapter is considered "Chapter One". They can connect you to other chapter leaders for ideas and inspiration. If starting something new just isn't something you can take on this year, consider attending one of the No Kidding! events -- or better yet, volunteer your time to organize an outing. We will be looking for a few volunteers as the date of the Childfree Festival nears...details will be posted on the Toronto No Kidding! message board. Please check the links in the sidebar for more information.

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