Volunteering is a big word.
After all, it’s got thirteen letters, and even bigger connotations.
When people think of volunteering, often, they think of giving something up—their time, their resources, their energy. Once, I thought that too.
But the thing about volunteering for the Mighty Pens is that it doesn’t feel that way. In my opinion, volunteering should be fun. Yes, I’m technically giving up some of my time and energy to help facilitate the Mighty Pens’ activities, but what I’ve gotten from volunteering so far, even in the short amount of time I’ve been a volunteer, is far more than what I expected to get back: a sense of fulfillment.
I’ve always loved volunteering; perhaps it’s the sense of community, perhaps it’s connecting with like-minded people that excites me about the act. Whatever it is, I’ve also always loved writing, and for the past two years, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month in November, more widely known as NaNoWriMo.
I stumbled across the Mighty Pens a few years ago from following author Susan Dennard’s activities on Instagram. But being a shy and rather introverted person, I quietly lurked in the shadows, following activities, but not engaging with anything. This year, when I saw that the organization is working with We Need Diverse Books and helping to fight book bans, I knew it was my time to join.
Book bans are so incredibly harmful, and for so many reasons. They restrict learning and knowledge, and how children learn about the world, limiting their perspectives and understandings of different groups and cultures. And that’s a problem.
So when I saw the Mighty Pens were working towards fighting book bans and censorship this year, I knew I’d found my volunteering calling, and I haven’t looked back since. So maybe if you, too, feel stifled seeing a new book ban every day on the news, or another case of censorship making headlines, and want to find your sense of fulfillment, consider signing up to be a volunteer for the Mighty Pens. One thing’s for sure–you won’t regret it.