It’s That Non Part of the Nonprofit I Don’t Like

January 8, 2008 at 7:15 pm | Posted in Life in the US, Nonprofit, The Bucket, Working | 2 Comments

I spend a good portion of each workday whirling like a dervish on meth, collecting paperwork, making copies, and prying into my clients’ lives.  But the part of working with youth and helping them to get their lives together that I love best is when I can just sit down and chat with them. 

I talked with R., one of my favorites, for a while last week about the type of work he was looking for.  He’s smart, funny, and driven to get a job, but he applies everywhere and gets no response. 

I asked him what he thought of doing work for nonprofits, as I could see him working as an overnight group home staff member.  He then asked me what exactly I meant by nonprofit and wanted to know to whom or what the non part of the nonprofit applied to. 

I think his two questions where: does one actually make money working for a nonprofit? and why the hell do people spend their entire workday helping others?

Both valid questions in my mind. 

I almost swore off nonprofit work during my four-month long stretch of looking for work.  No benefits for Homeboy, and most positions I applied for wouldn’t have even covered my modest living expenses. 

But a fin de cuentas, I am incredibly ill-equipped for working in an office setting or in a corporate environment.  I’d really rather learn to install dry wall.  I don’t even know how to present myself to for profit companies.  I don’t know the language, the mores, the culture. 

And I can’t imagine having a job in which I don’t get emotionally invested in the work and those served by my work.

Which reminds me, this R. I mentioned…he spaced on a meeting that we had yesterday and his cell phone got shut off.  I’m trying to hook him up with free classes towards a skilled trade that excites him, so I think some stalking is in order. 

Quote of the Day from another kid: Ain’t no honeys in Cumberland to hook up with, so I’m fixin’ to find a place to play b-ball.



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  1. Melly, we’ve talked about stalking the bad boys, tsk tsk. I know you want to do good, but leave the binoculars and hand cuffs at home, no need for the do gooder to be caught doing bad to do good.

    Ok, I am obviously too tired to be posting anything….

  2. It took me a while to follow that one! 😉

    The dude finally showed up today, and only a bit of stalking was in order.

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