My mind's a-turning!

>> Monday, August 17

I am just completely and utterly confused right now. My brain might explode. I had my phone interview today with the guy from Habitat for Humanity. He said the thought of having an architecture person in this position made him giddy. Which made me feel good, but now gives me this sense of guilt if I DON'T take the job.

You see, the job is sponsored by AmeriCorps- have you heard of it? I hadn't before I learned of this position. I guess the easy way to define it is by saying it's like a domestic Peace Corps, sponsoring people to be part of different organizations, with the main purpose of fighting poverty. Habitat for Humanity is somehow related to it, or funded by it, I don't know... I haven't figured all this out. Lots of colleges encourage students to participate for a year, so that age group (18-24) is the bulk of the VISTA volunteers. But the part that I just don't understand is that to volunteer/work with an AmeriCorps organization, you will earn less than minimum wage. I just never knew that was possible! I mean it's a governmental organization, so how do they pay you less than MINIMUM wage??! He even mentioned that some of the workers take advantage of food stamps. I would be living below the poverty line. I just had no idea what all this position brought with it- I mean I love helping people, but not if it's going to put me in the poor house!

But at the same time... am I crazy?? Because I'm really tempted! I'm finding solutions to the money problem already. I've found that I could rent a nice house with 3 other volunteers for about $300/ month, bills included. Add on about $80/ month for car insurance, and what's really left? Food, gas, a little bit of spending money. And suddenly it becomes very do-able. I mean I've roughed it before, and it was one of the best experiences in my life! Maybe this could be similar... And the actual job part of it sounds great- I would be working to design Habitat houses, and working to make them more energy efficient and greener. How important is that?!

And it's only a year-long contract, have I mentioned that??

Oh, and my favorite- there's a chance that they might want me to start Sept.1. Yup... that's in 2 weeks!

I am just in knots thinking about it. I talked to my mom, she thinks I'm crazy. She wants to talk to my Dad and see what he says about it. Yeah, like he'll LOVE the thought of his 26-year-old daughter working for peanuts!

I am just back and forth, back and forth over it. I've searched for blogs to see if I can find any volunteers in Biloxi, to see if they are completely miserable or loving every minute of it. I could see it going either way.

What do you think? Does it sound crazy? Or should I hold out for something that could pay THREE TIMES the amount? (which still isn't very much!! LOL)


Angela August 20, 2009 at 12:51 AM  

Goodness! That is a really hard decision. I know you want to help people but the 1 year contract would scare me more than the low pay. I would be scared to sign on the dotted line without seeing how I like it first.

Good luck in whatever you decide. Believe it or not, I have lived in MS my whole life but I have never been to Biloxi. Overall housing is very inexpensive here...

Michele August 22, 2009 at 8:23 AM  

WOW, what a decision! I look back (cause 42 is old compared to 26!)and think it would have been a really cool opportunity at your age. I would really try to find someone there in the experience to see what it may be like.If you think you could live on peanuts, I think I'd go for it, a neat chance to be apart of something bigger than yourself. Not to mention I think it would look really good on your resume!
~Michele from By Your Side

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