Not too much activity...! How is everyone?
Anyone around here still? :)
Hello, and thanks for checking in/checking up. How goes it with you?
I have 2 or 3 new sort of unjobbing projects going on these days - at least ones that I don't think I have mentioned here before. Please understand that I am not doing any of these things "for the money". But they bring in a little cash now and then, so they kind of fall into this category.
I sit on Citizen's Advisory Councils in the field of children's mental health - state, county, and 2 hospitals'. As the parent of special needs kids, I have experience to share, and a sincere interest in the policies these folks put in place. Each monthly meeting pays a small stipend for attendance, $25 - $50, plus free dinner! I also volunteer for any work group in this field - public education campaigns, presentations to seminars, whatever, and receive a stipend. $200 is the largest I've gotten yet, but that one also included 2 nights in a nice hotel, mileage reimbursement, and meals! This one was to help plan an outreach program to tell people about changes in the state medicaid program. I learned more about medical insurance than I ever wanted to know, but also feel that my contribution was valued. I would recommend anyone try to find similar opportunities in a field you are passionate about. My passion is what makes it fun and important. The $ is just the icing on the cake. In my case, it is lived experience that qualifies me; not college degrees, work experience, or anything else.
Still in the dreaming, talking-about-it stage is the idea of starting a non-profit and applying for grants. Also in the field of children's mental health, I have some pretty big ideas. I have made some connections through the volunteer projects above, and I am getting ready to start focusing my energy on a narrower aspect.
On a different yet related subject, I am in the certification process to become a therapeutic foster parent. I have done this before, so I know what I am getting myself into. It is definitely a journey of the heart, not a money-making scheme, although it pays about double the standard rate of foster care. It is my non-professional assessment that every foster child needs and deserves this level of care. The commitment is huge, but the payback (emotionally more than financially) is substantial.
I lost my momentum on the subject of tutoring English as a Second Language. I put it on a back burner for now - I got cranky with the local community college system for their rigid curriculum and policies. I may try again - either independently or though an agency.
Once upon a time, I raised and trained baby parrots for sale. That home business tanked in the economic mess of 2008 (or whenever). I am considering getting back into that field, as a part-time, side line, hobby type business. I have the animal training skills, but question my sales ability. It would be a fairly substantial financial investment (at least by my standards!). But I love raising baby birds, and educating people about the hows and whys of parrot keeping. As a business, it is dependent on people having lots of disposable income. I am talking thousand dollar pets, or even more. I have vague ethical questions about this. Not the parrot-as -pet question. I know my birds are ethically raised, and my customers are well educated on their responsibility. But can I participate in an industry that is so luxury-oriented, while so many people in the world are operating at sustainance level?
Oh, my! I had no plan of this post asking such deep. ethical, philosophical questions.
Wow, that's a lot of interesting work, not to mention positive contributions! :) The parrot training is a unique thing, too! I can understand the ethical questions about it though.
I feel bad for neglecting the group...I started working again last fall, but I'm about to be off on my own again...petrified really...