Mexican volunteers (and me!), Santa Rosalia, 1998
My first memory of really choosing to volunteer on my own was in middle school. For some reason I can't remember anymore, I decided I wanted to volunteer at the local women's shelter, Anna Ogden Hall.
They had no idea what to do with me, however, since I was 12 and apparently there aren't a lot of 12 year olds that show up to help. So I was put in charge of babysitting some of the women's children.
I really hate babysitting. The whole thing in general was a pretty unpleasant experience.
And that is what I remember about the first time I volunteered.
Fortunately, it was not my last.