Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yoga Day

Relative to a lot of people, I haven't been out of work for long. In January, I was told my position was being eliminated, there was tons to do to make that transition go smoothly, I had a new role lined up for May (my end date) but it fell through at the last minute.  So here I am.

Starting in June, I've been a volunteer once a week. Tuesday, I was one of four volunteer coordinators for helping 10,000 people get set up to do yoga on Central Park's Great Lawn. My role was to get everyone on the east entrance a gift bag including a yoga mat, managing a team of about 25 volunteers. It was my first time working a large event in a leadership role but that piece of the puzzle went super smoothly, in large part because someone easygoing but strong took on a leadership role at each station. Looking back, I should have been better about learning everyone's names since that goes a long way in making people feel appreciated.

The event itself was amazing to be a part of. The people waiting in line were, for the most part, in an excellent mood. The volunteers were eager to help. Watching the empty lawn slowly fill up with people, I got more excited about being part of something so wonderful. There were people in bright yellow jackets to monitor the entrance to insure an accurate people count for making a new the world record. As the start time got closer, so did the storm clouds. Occasional raindrops became more frequent and fuller. Someone made the call that the event needed to end due to safety concerns regarding the weather so it all ended with a whimper.

Due to the rain, the people working the event all congregated under the few tents although we got completely drenched. Thankfully, all my years as a runner and working in the park paid off so I wasn't phased by it until-- still in wet clothes-- we were in the air conditioned wrap party.

I got to know a number of other volunteers and ran into a good friend who recently moved to my neighborhood. My friend who invited me to help out also went over some of the glitches with me so I also learned a fair amount. I'll be hard pressed to find another volunteer opportunity that is as much fun.

Job applications: 0
Networking events: 1
New contacts: 4

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