I was trying to think of what to write about today and doing searches on Google and finding all kinds of things that I already knew about.
Then I came across an idea which I have never tried. I LOVE doing that. On my website http://helping-hearts.net and in my blogs, I’ve written about free ways to help others, fun ways to help others, cyber-volunteering, virtual mentoring, donating, volunteering, random acts of kindness and paying it forward.
I have never written about becoming a “professional volunteer” also known as a docent. Now, although I haven’t done it myself, I’ve met people who are docents at my local zoo and at museums around the U.S.
I’m calling docents “professional volunteers” because they train so they can become like a professional. A docent is someone who has been trained by the organization that they volunteer for to take the place of a paid employee. Like most volunteers, they do the work that needs to be done for free, but usually docents have to make a time commitment that a lot of volunteers don’t.
The next time you’re at a museum and are taking a tour, you might be taking it with a docent. I have certainly done this at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida which is filled with docents.
You might be wondering who can become a docent. Well, to be honest, most of the docents I’ve met have been retirees. For the time commitment it takes to become a docent, you need the unfettered time that retirees have.
I recently posted to my Facebook page a quote from Paulo Coelho (yes, I’d never heard of him before but I like this quote so I hope he’s not an ax murderer).
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. DO IT NOW.”
I want to do those things. They can be little and easy, like hugging your son every day.
Or a bit bigger. Maybe for you one of those things is to learn about airplanes, or feed a rhinoceros, or talk about great works of art.
As a docent, you can do those things, FOR FREE! You just sign up with a zoo, museum or other foundation that does those things and say you will commit to them a certain number of hours and they will commit to teach you.
Docent is just a funny word for volunteer and you all know how great volunteering is. The more you do it, the better you feel. So, God Bless and go for it!