The Plano Balloon Festival is this weekend. The festival benefits many local nonprofits, which provide volunteers for the race, parking, food booths, etc. One of those nonprofits is City House, where I organize the pantry every month. I’ve written about it before, but they provide temporary housing to homeless, neglected, and abused children. They will receive at least $5,000 for helping out at the race.
I have attended the festival before, and it’s pretty unique. The best part is when they light up all of the balloons after dark, but there are a million different activities, especially for kids, plus food and concerts. And I like that there is a shuttle from the Parker Road DART station, so you don’t have to deal with parking.
I will be out of town this weekend, so I helped by stuffing goodie bags Saturday for the race participants. It was nice because it was close to my house (at Central Market, my favorite grocery store), it was easy, they had some delicious muffins, fruit, and coffee, and I even got a little exercise. I think I heard about it through City House’s mailing list.
Will Work for Muffins
We had two assembly lines going with about 30 volunteers. We set out all of the flyers, coupons, and samples in two assembly lines. On my assembly line, we would each walk down the line, grabbing one of each item, and put them into bags at the end of the line. The group on the other side of the room had a different system. They each stood in front of an item and passed bags down the line, each person putting their item in each bag as it went by. So if you wanted to stand still and socialize, their side was better. If you wanted to get some exercise, my side was better.
I noticed that out of about 30 volunteers, only 3 were men. Actually, I’m pretty sure one of those was an employee. You guys need to get your act together. I think most of the volunteers were high school students getting hours for National Honor Society or other clubs. I saw a few t-shirts from the National Charity League Frisco chapter. And of course, there were a few randos like me who just like to volunteer to help people, for fun, to meet people, or to network. There was even an elderly lady who is apparently famous for helping City House in a million different ways.
Aforementioned Rock Star
I overheard some of the moms talking about how their kids will go off to college soon, and volunteering will help them stave off empty nest syndrome. I had never thought of that, but it makes sense. It keeps you busy and makes you feel needed.
It only took us about an hour and a half to stuff 2,000 goodie bags!