In past blogs, they have been about me but not really. I’m always trying to urge people to act because I feel like people are bombarded with so many ways to get involved they are just overwhelmed. That’s how I was until I was inspired and found the cause I want to support, what I want to do.
This blog is going to be a little different though because right now I’m going to share what I’m feeling right now.
I’m afraid, I’m nervous. I’m timid. I’ve explained that before, I’m very timid. I wrote that without my boyfriend I wouldn’t be as brave as I am now. I wouldn’t have the courage to blog or help my Aunt with Recycled2New or try to help a new non-profit get off their feet. I wouldn’t have done any of that without him and it does take courage to put yourself out there, something I didn’t have before.
Now I’m taking the next step. All of those other activities I’ve done with people, I do blog on my own, but that is a little different because I”m in my own home. I run all marketing for Recycled2New, but I still work WITH my aunt. I help this non-profit with my own ideas, but I’m still working WITH people I know.
Today I sent an email to the volunteer cooridnator at Build, Inc. and this is why I’m afraid. I don’t know anyone there, I don’t really know the neighborhoods (and the one that I want to work in is dangerous) and I’m afraid I won’t fit in.
It’s not like the high school definition of fitting in, the I’m wearing the wrong brand of shirt, the un-cool brand type of not fitting in, but the “I’ve never in my life experienced what you have been through so how am I going to relate to you” type of fitting in.
Let me explain a little about Build, Inc. first. Build, Inc. (you can click here for their website or here for their facebook, which I highly recommend) works with at risk and gang affiliated youth in the city neighborhoods of Chicago. They provide tutoring, recreational activities, and so many more wonderful things. This is my passion and this is what I love. The idea that a child can grow and life in a neighborhood so dangrous breaks my heart, it honestly hurts me to even think about that, that they have to sacrifice their childhood living in fear or that they get involved in a gang for whatever reason. If you were to ask me “In a perfect world what would be your ultimate dream”. I would tell you that I would want to start a non-profit like Build or become extrememly involved in a non-profit like that, designed to help kids AND their families in these areas.
This is where my a bit of my fear comes in, the normal nerves. Not only do I not know anyone and the neighborhoods themselves are dangerous BUT I’ll meet people when I go there and I’ll have to be careful. Two worries just got checked off my list.
I’m afraid (my biggest fear) that I will be thought of as someone who came in from the suburbs, never once experiencing any of these problems, and only their to do my good deed. Just doing something that looks good on my resume or to say I helped the city. That thought brings tears to my eyes.
More than anything in this world I want to help people and I found my cause, one that I suport with all of my heart and would do anything for. I want to help my home, Chicago, and more than anything I want to not open a newpaper or go to a Chicago news website and see that another child was killed in senseless violence.
I’m just afraid if they think that about me, that I’m only here to get my good deed for the year in, that they (the kids I’d love to help) won’t let me in, won’t let me help them whether it is tutoring for school or whatever they want me to do. Since I have never experienced what it’s like to live in these neighborhoods, since I don’t know what it’s like to fear gang violence, since I don’t know what it’s like to accept the possibility that I may get shot walking down the street, I’m afraid they won’t trust me. Anyone that knows me will tell you I am beyond passionate about this and I will talk your ear off, literally.
I just don’t know what to do about this. I guess I’ll find out if I have the time to volunteer down there, between school and work. Thank you for listening to all my worries.