Several weeks ago, a friend hit me up about a volunteer opportunity and my immediate thought was “Oh, I’m going to get asked to stack chairs or set up tables for an event or something.” Not that that’s a bad thing, but when I think of volunteering, it usually doesn’t line up with what I’m passionate about doing. Also, nowadays being a work-from–home mom, I don’t have a lot of extra time to volunteer for much.
When I got more details and found out it was going to be volunteering as a model in a fashion show for an organization that’s committed to helping build the community, I thought “I’m in!” Also, my friend Yumi who asked me is a great friend who wouldn’t dump any old opportunity on me. After getting my approval, she sent my info off to the coordinator of the fashion show. I could tell by the voicemail and the corresponding email my contact Trina sent that I was working with professionals. I’m not too sure how to explain it other than all of the questions I was going to ask were already answered prior to even speaking with her directly.
Most things you’d want to know about a fashion show are:
What is this for?
Who is involved?
Where does the event take place?
What kind of time commitment is it?
When is the fitting?
When is the show?
Will there be rehearsals?
Is there any form of compensation?
What do I bring?
Will there be meals provided?
I’m not sure why, but a lot of times I have to drag those details out of the coordinator and some of them are unknown at the time of the initial conversation. That being said, anyone who treats me like the professional I am is already in my “good book”. Once I coordinated schedules with my husband to make sure this was something we could accommodate, I added it to our shared calendar on my iPhone and was looking forward to the date of the fitting.
The day came, and–upon arriving to the fitting–I was met with snacks, water, and the clothing and accessories were set aside for me to try on. This is another thing about me: food is the way to my heart. There is a saying “Don’t feed the models.”, and people think that for some reason we’re allergic to eating. However, food is life sustaining and energy giving. If you feed me, I know you care about my life. Not everyone feels that way, but seriously that’s how I am.
Even though I already ate ahead of time and had water and snacks in my bag, the fact that they provided it made me very happy. Also, them having the clothing and accessories laid out meant that they cared about my time and theirs. I don’t have time to waste. I never have, but especially as a wife and mother there are plenty of things I could be doing besides waiting around or trying on ten million outfits to see “what works”.
I only had to try on three looks before they decided which ones I would wear, what accessories would go with it, and then they set it aside in a bag with my name on it. Before I left the fitting, I knew what hair and makeup would look like, what I needed to bring with me, parking details, and the rundown of the schedule for the day of the fashion show. I was also thanked numerous times for volunteering, and I was appreciative of their gratitude.
Something that really stuck with me during this experience was that my outlook on volunteering was wrong. I always felt that it needed to be some burdensome task that you had to make a huge sacrifice for in order to be considered important. I had a great conversation with one of the other models Cece about how you can use your passions to inspire change, and that’s one of the reasons God gives that desire to you.
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve worked for free so that other people’s vision could come to life. I never really saw it as volunteering. Most of the “work” I do in the industry doesn’t even seem like work. And, for that, I know I am truly blessed. Think about ways you can use your skills and talent to make the world a brighter place.
I’ll be posting a vlog from the day of the fashion show soon, so stay tuned!
I wanted to leave you with a little more info about WHW – Empowering Employment Success:
“A good job is more than a paycheck. It is essential to creating a stable, safe and educated community. And for many, it is a lifeline.
With a good job families can afford safe housing; they can have access to quality healthcare; they can provide healthy meals to their children and teens can stay in school to get a good education, rather than dropping out and going to work to help support their families. A good job is not the solution to every problem in our society, but a good job is the solution to many of them. And WHW is proud to be part of that solution.
Our job seekers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including survivors of domestic violence who are trying to put their lives back together; veterans attempting to transition into civilian life; at-risk youth looking for jobs as a way off the streets… and your neighbors, your brother or your aunt or your child who may be facing unemployment for the very first time.
The return on the investment of those who partner with us is impactful. With over 1,000 volunteers who contribute more than 25,000 hours of service every year and 91 cents of every dollar donated going directly to our programs and services, nearly 68% of our job seekers obtain a good job and 90% of those keep that job, which increases their household income by 150%.”
Until next time…
❤ K. Love