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Chapter 17. Volunteering in Retirement G... > Jeri Leedy: "Be Selfish about It" - Pg. 188

188 The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security The biggest lesson Donna has learned along the way about volunteer work is the importance of setting expectations properly. "Learn to appre- ciate the smallest amount of change you can see--don't look for the whole world to change just because you gave a day of your life to something. Celebrate the small changes, and be excited about what you can do." One of Donna's small wins was starting a cooking program--the kids all cook dinner together regularly as a social activity and learn healthy eating habits. Another win is a student who almost fell through the cracks after the death of his best friend from an asthma attack; today he works as a Philadelphia firefighter. Volunteering has brought important changes to Donna's personal life. Several years ago, she reinvented her career after her employer went through several ownership changes that left Donna unsatisfied at work. She accepted a new position as administrator of the nation's first Meth- odist church, Historic St. George, in Philadelphia. The job pays far less than she made at the software company, but it leaves her the free time she needs for the youth program. "I just wanted to spend more time with those kids, and that made it much easier to make the decision to accept a lower-paying position."