Follow
Share

I have been taking care of my mother for years. Lately I decided to start volunteering as a way to stay sane and feel better about myself. I got snookered by middle aged mean girls yesterday when I was invited to help out at a volunteer table. They called and asked me to come, and oh by the way would I stop for sandwiches. I had to wait until my helper came to leave and they called twice more to add extra snadwiches for others and to ask me where I was. They called again while I was trying to drive and then while I was hiking from the parking lot carrying food and drinks. they were SO FRIENDLY :L-)

WHen I got there they said OH GOOD can you watch the booth and all left to eat. One made a point of making sure I knew that only real lmembers could open the cashbox for change. They said they would pay me later.

When they came back after a long time, some of them had gone home. They didn't pay me but one asked me pointedly if I had seen her sunscreen which was supposedly very special (no it was drugstore variety). I was nice and they when I finally wanted to leave because it was obvious I was not part of the gang, they opened up the cashbox to pay me and hesitated like maybe i MIGHT WANT TO MAKE IT A DONATION.

I cried driving, I cried in my yard before comming inside. So much for respite and joining in. I want to ask if anyone else has been taken advantage of like that. I had to pay someone to stay with my mom to go. I had to pay for their drinks and sandwiches and got made to look like a fool and needy and not belonging. I got excluded for not having a husband and having it "EASY" taking care of a mom with alzheimers and other ailements. I feel so bad I don't even want to show my face and now the money I was going to use to pay the girl next week is gone to the donation of sandwiches for mean girls. Sometime things dont' change by wy dont people care? Are there any groups that are there for us that we can meet with - i just wanted to be one of the girls and now I feel like nothing.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I'm so sorry you ran into this. I'm generally understanding of people's faults, but this sounds absolutely juvenile. If it weren’t for how that awful experience made you feel, I’d almost have to feel sorry for these seemingly shallow people. It sounds like this group has no understanding of people who have real problems.
Please do try again to give your time, but not with this group, obviously. You may want to check with a church of other faith based group to see what volunteer opportunities are open. Also, I think you'll find wonderful people at the local food bank and/or homeless shelter. Another idea is your rape and abuse crisis center or a local helpline phone answering group.
Most people volunteering their time at these places are doing so for the right reasons - not social reasons. You would be helping others while getting some respite from your 24/7 Alzheimer's care - which you need. Please do try one or more of these ideas and let us know how your are doing.
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Miss Leslie - Welcome
No one has the right to take advantage of your generous giving spirit and treat you so thoughtlessly. If it were me I would want to make them aware that their rude dismissive behavior was not what you expected. After all, you were not hired as a caterer. Obviously, these are people you don't want to associate with ever again. With that in mind, I would write a letter to the local chapter president of the organization whose meeting you attended. I would advise her/him of your delight at being invited and the disappointing experience that followed. In addition, I would let her/him know exactly how much money they still owe you and that you expect to be reimbursed.
Don't let this experience stop you from reaching out. There are dozens of places that would appreciate and value your participation. Do you have a food pantry nearby or a local animal shelter ? Both are good places to meet other great giving people and get your mind off of your own problems for a while. In the meantime, don't worry about the mean girls - "they" say Karma's a b***h.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

MissL: please do not judge the world of volunteering by the sickening actions of these little dweebs. Not all organizations are like this. Unfortunately, there are a few that are like little "cliques" for bored, rich women. They were cruel, but you are a decent and giving person...so who came out the winner?
If you are looking for a supportive environment with people who know your life as well as they know their own, you are in the right place. You can come here to vent, get advice, offer advice, or just hang out.
The problem with caregiving, I have discovered, is that it is incredibly isolating. When I first arrived in this forum I was burned out from taking care of my Mom, I had just lost my best friend of 25 years, and we had to pick up and move to another state. Everyone here was so supportive and caring and never failed to lift my spirits.
Do not give up on joining local groups...you need a chance to get out just to clear your head....maybe, just be a little more selective. It was too bad that you had to have this experience, especially when you had to pay for someone to watch your Mom. But that is what makes them losers, NOT YOU.
Welcome to the forum....you will find many friends here.
Lilli
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Wow, I am so very sorry you experienced this cruel behavior. These women make Nellie Olsen look like an angel. With all the volunteer work I have done over the years I have never come across anyone even close to the way these women treated you.

Your local Agency on Aging may be able to refer you to a support group for caregivers. Though you want to volunteer, I think you should do something for yourself rather than trying to "give" more to someone else right now. You may be able to find a good friend or two in a caregiver support group who can understand. I have made some of my best and life long friends in support groups. Then may be later you could do some volunteering - may be your new friends will join you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

You're not alone with this! I have pretty much lost all the people I used to hang around with. some because they didn't really want to be around me anymore , I guess because of the difficulties of my life compared to thiers. And some I had to get away from becuase i felt that they were using ME!
Caregiving is a very isolating thing for whatever reasons, and for some other reasons I don't understand, it seems to make us very vulnerable to the bad sides of others.
Please know that there ARE others out there (Right Here!) who are going through a lot of the same things as you and DON"T GIVE UP! You are obviously a better grade of people than those you wrote about. remember that and keep looking for others that can live up to YOUR standards.
Keep Strong.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My husband and I joined a few church groups (to pray and to volunteer) and we were treated nicely by those who attended the meetings. Try again as not everyone is mean.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have another question. Why were they taking money out of the cash box to pay you back for their lunch? If it was a fundraiser those funds are for the organization! Not their sandwiches!!!! I like the idea of writing those in charge and letting them know you expect reimbersment back for the lunches.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

There are so many places that would appreciate your loving spirit. Check into some of the suggestions made and we hope you come back here and get to know us. It is not the same as seeing people out and about, but we do support, love and appreciate one another. Sorry your outing was so costly, in money time and feelings. We care, come back and visit us... hugs
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

LES:

Why did you volunteer in the first place? Deep inside, there's something you're seeking; and a sense of "belonging" doesn't quite describe it. Once you identify it, choosing an organization and setting personal boundaries others will respect will be much easier.

After working so hard, you felt like a fool because you allowed yourself to be disrespected and manipulated in your unbridled eagerness to help those in need. That's understandable when you've spent most of your life helping -- and giving -- to others; including the clothes of your back. So you got played. ... And it's not the first time.

There's a reward or sense of fulfillment when we give of ourselves. I'm not talking about money but about the joy that comes from being appreciated; a simple Thank You; a smile; or just knowing -- and sensing -- that our efforts do make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

You wanted to be useful, and felt used in the end. Next time, ask yourself the purpose of your volunteering and your goals in terms of enhancing the loving, caring, and beautiful person that you truly are. ... When we love and respect ourselves, it shows. It's about time you serve notice.

Keep us posted Lady Leslye.

-- ED
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

When we need respite, we're more fragile emotionally then in other times or stages in our lives. As much as volunteering is a noble and probably healing activity for you, just keep in mind that you might need to volunteer in less group type surroundings, because where there are groups, there are people, and where there are people there are personalities, and among those personalities are going to be the ever present 'difficult' ones. Maybe go work with animals! :) Hang in there... this was definitely a 'them' not 'you' event!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter