I am growing to love my little city in the Midwest, and one of the big ways that this happens is by getting involved on Saturdays. There is always something going on during the warm months, and so Husband and I keep our eyes peeled for things to try.
We met K, the volunteer coordinator for the city, and she immediately recruited us for a pretty fun job: serving beer! The city puts on free concerts all summer to benefit the town, but since many people want to drink an icy cold one with their musical evening, they need someone to distribute the beer to the many thirsty fans. Obviously, the city could pay bartenders, but they can bring better bands and make a more sustainable program if they have volunteers take the cash and hand over the cans.
We had gone to these concerts before, bringing our camp chairs and watching the river pass by as the music twanged out over the city. It was fun, but since we don’t know that many people in town, we felt like it was less fun than it could be. The opportunity to volunteer introduced us to other volunteers every night, and meant that we were always having nice quick conversations with people who were purchasing their beverages.
It’s not a big sacrifice to spend an afternoon or evening handing out beers, and it makes it a little cheaper for the city to offer great entertainment to the citizens. By the end of that first summer, we preferred our times in the beer tent to the relaxation of just sitting and enjoying the concert! What’s more, we now have friends who are also avid volunteers around town, and they purposely sign up for the same beer booth nights as we do, which makes for a great social time. There’s nothing as fun as accomplishing something difficult together, so even the busy nights are great.
What little things do you do to support your hometown or city? It doesn’t have to be a big sacrifice to make you more connected to your place!