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3 min Read
Published May 9, 2013

The Avengers of the Triangle

I got caught today. Blue tights and black boots–hood over my head–trying to sneak out of my day job before my co-workers could see the superhero costume, I hurried through the final room, almost out the brilliant thresh hold and into the sun — “Wow,” my co-worker said as I rushed by, her wide-eyed stare following me out the door.

So much for being covert. The Blue Beacon is definitely not a ninja. But, you know, it’s not really my job to be sneaky. A beacon is meant to be seen – and followed. That’s the purpose of this project.

I want to be noticed and raise awareness so all the Triangle’s citizens can join in the good fight and find good places to volunteer and improve our community.

bue-beacon-at-note-in-the-pocketI’m not going to lie to you, dear readers. Not all volunteer experiences are the same. Sometimes you go out to make a difference and leave feeling like you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. Your skills were unused. Your time was wasted. Your fellow helpers weren’t friendly. This is a common deterrent against volunteering.

Sometimes, you just have a bad experience. As a veteran volunteer, I’m familiar with these situations and try to not let negative experiences deter me, since ultimately our goal should be helping other people, not feeling warm and fuzzy and altruistic. That being said, I don’t blame people who have a bad time with an organization for not wanting to go suffer again.

If you have the guts and the gall, grit your teeth and donate your time to the cause you care most about, regardless how challenging. Use your strength to create change. However, if you want to have fun and make a difference, come give a few hours to Note in the Pocket. The cause is just and the people are friendly and bubbly.

Susan made me feel welcome with a hug and a vibrant introduction as their “Volunteer Superhero.” Dallas excitedly shared new ideas for creating positive community impact. All I did was fold clothes, but to hear them talk, you’d think I was saving the world or something.

Sometimes the cause makes the organization. Sometimes the people make it. In this case, it’s both. I hear the Thursday group of helpers is especially lively.

My mom came out with her camera, and we posed for pictures – some epic, some silly. At the end of my shift, I felt like I had been hanging out with old friends. This is the less-lonely part of being a superhero, the part where you slowly start to build stamina and relationships as you push onward on your mission. If you just keep pushing, you’ll meet other like-minded heroes and form a league of Avengers that work together to create social change. As I go back to familiar non-profits, I am excited to meet the other heroes who keep our city safe.

In fact, this particular group is planning a very exciting celebration for the finale of my Superhero Volunteer-a-thon, to which you will all be invited.

At the end of my day at work–with no co-workers bringing up the strange costume they’d earlier seen–I came home feeling far more energetic than usual. I felt like a Beacon, instead of a burned-out candle. I wonder if someone can develop superpowers through sheer force of will. As in, I will change the world, superpowers or not! Will you? And will you stand with the Avengers of the Triangle?

Click on the Blue Beacon to Donate!

And as a beacon, which is meant to be seen, I am happy to report that I’m doing the filming for a local news show tomorrow afternoon and that because of my efforts, I’ve also been offered a column in a magazine, to write about non-profit events and causes in our community. That’s right. I’m going to be a journalist. Just like Superman.

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  • heather


  • I sincerely believe that through the power of storytelling, I can make social issues become more than a set of statistics. My expertise is in community leadership, non-profit work, event coordinating, networking, and storytelling. All my articles.

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