Why Work For Nothing? It Depends

Lots of people work because they have a ’cause’. I think that’s great-the world needs visionary people-for the most part, and giving of yourself is good for you and good for the rest of humanity. Compassion for your fellow humans and making their lives more bearable is laudable. I’ve done it for some things and it is highly rewarding. For those that can do it and keep it up, I have nothing but admiration. For mere mortals like me, it wears on you. I can pop in/out. Just don’t expect me for the long haul-I can’t take it.

For me, I pick things that nobody else seems to be enthused about. I suppose that makes me as contrary as Bernie Sanders, or maybe a mule (and I don’t consider either to be an insult because I think highly of both). I worked for a while for Legal Aid-they provide free legal assistance for those who cannot afford it for any number of things-disputes with their landlords (you’d be amazed at the way a landlord will treat a tenant who pays on time-it is sickening); employers who will short pay people because they know they have little to no legal recourse (and they have the time sheets to prove the work); single parents needing help getting alimony and/or child support payments garnished (you’d be astounded how many of the non-custodial parents had incomes into high six figures), people who want to pay off bills but don’t have the income to do it, might be considering bankruptcy, but either don’t know how to do that, if they should, or even if it is advisable (you can’t get out of student loans even if you die). It was endlessly fascinating, enjoyable, and frustrating.

As a teenager, I volunteered at an area hospital as a Candystriper (junior Auxiliary). I did that for two years. I delivered mail and flowers, ran some errands for the nurses (they don’t trust much to Candystripers), rocked a few babies, fed some patients when they didn’t have enough CNA’s, pushed quite a few wheelchairs, and some other things. It was enough to make me certain that nursing was not a career choice for me, but healthcare was. Then years later, I stumbled upon a group that did international work of a kind that was unusual-instead of going overseas and doing a bunch of good stuff then leaving (and I’ll elaborate later on why that’s a problem), these people go in and TRAIN THE LOCAL PHYSICIANS AND NURSES how to do stuff, take in the necessary equipment, give them contact phone numbers. With the first way, in third world countries, they frequently don’t trust our medicine-so they won’t take it-at all. Or they’ll take part of what they are given-and either save the rest for later or give it away. Another scenario is they’ll take it all at once. Plus there is no one there to follow up on them. With this method, they have their own physicians and nurses there-who know them , speak their language, and who will miss them if they miss a follow-up appointment and go look for them. It makes a difference. Especially since most of the patients that these people treat are children.

So several years ago when I ran across a lady at a Pat Parelli event in Winston Salem, NC who asked me what would I do if my horse was stolen, she had me. I talked with her a bit, but that was it at the time. Didn’t forget her or the organization though. I’d see an article of hers from time to time-and she made sense. Then I was bored and got on the Yahoo groups-joined a couple of them, and there was an ALERT for a horse that showed up on the HORSESCTR group. Intrigued, I clicked on it and guess who? Same group. So I signed up. Then Yahoo started shutting down the groups-and they started going in different directions-some got their own websites, some went to other services, some did both, and some went to that new thing-Facebook. I sort of let it slide-I was past my hairline in alligators.

Over a decade later, I was on Facebook because it was the only way to stay up with some relatives and “what to my wondering eyes should appear, but” another one of those NetPosse ALERTS. Found the Facebook page, decided to answer a post for a volunteer, and I’ve been progressively doing more for them ever since. I write, research, make phone calls, and work behind the scenes.

Why? Because this is a closely knit organization that works to help the victims-both animal and human-of some emotional devastating events. Some have been stolen outright-a criminal event documented by law enforcement. More frequently, the animal was taken to satisfy a debt, as revenge, sold behind somebody’s back, broken lease or adoption agreement, etc.  Less frequently, the owners are frantically looking for a horse that broke away from a trail ride, jumped a fence, dumped a rider, or was involved in a disaster evacuation. Whatever the reason-the result is an emotional roller coaster. They need help organizing their search. They need somebody with the right contacts. They need people who know how to get it done.

And this organization provides resources far beyond just a Facebook page and some hand holding. There’s a store, articles, testimonials, endorsements, sponsors, resources, services, full database, custom webpages, custom fliers, education, and even a page solely for law enforcement. They also use several social media sites in addition to Facebook and their website. They are impressive.

Besides-I can work from my living room, watch the baseball game, and be in my pj’s. Only thing I miss is a paycheck!