Thursday, February 26, 2009

service in your slippers

My life seems to have gotten busier and busier lately. I realized recently that it's been awhile since I've brought anyone dinner, babysat for someone who was sick, or did any number of the little acts of service that keep me feeling like I'm a contributing member of society. I can think of lots of ways that I could be more involved in the community or various service projects that I've heard about, but somehow they never seem to fit with my schedule. Cue the feelings of guilt, and wondering if my children will ever grow up to be service-oriented people if I'm slacking off. So I've resolved to do two things about this: one, to try to be more aware of what the people around me are struggling with, and two, to make service a regular thing, rather than a "when it arises" type of thing.

So here's what I've found really helps me in that second goal and fits with the only free time I have (at home, during naptime): Family's indexing opportunities. After you create an account (and go through a couple of brief tutorials), you can download batches of names from census records and type up the handwritten records into a readable and organized format. The website is free and open to anyone who wants to either contribute as an indexer or do research on their own family lines. Generally, a batch of fifty names takes me about an hour (I'm definitely still learning!). Yes, it does eat up my rare free time, but it also makes me feel a little glow for having done something more virtuous with that hour than blog-surfing (although I've only promised myself to do 100 names a week, so I still have LOTS of hours to fritter away on other things!)

I'm blogging about this not to put myself on a pedestal, but because I want to spread the word about how easy this is, and also because I'd really like to hear if you have any similar things that you're involved in--service from home, in small chunks? Please share!!!


Adrienne said...

Congrats on your little boy. Boys are soo much fun! And rough too although I'm not sure that's a gender thing.

And it's funny you mention the family history site. I just got on there yesterday for the first time in years trying to do some service although I'm trying to get temple names. But I did see the other thing too and when my family history is under some sort of order, maybe I'll try it out. Thanks!

Meghan said...

The FH indexing sounds cool. But don't ignore the service you gave with the dinner theater. I think that counts.

JORDAN said...

Congrats on the boy! Ruth and I better hurry a little so he has a buddy to play with (only if you can convince Ruth).

Ruth and I wish you two could join us on a skiing trip one of these days!

Crapos said...

Hey, that's what I do for random home service! Our ward had the goal to index one million names last year. We fell far short - not quite half a million - but we still did more than the rest of our stake combined.

Lindsey said...

Yes, I love indexing too. It is super easy, and you can do it from home. I started this summer, and I still really enjoy it. My favorite part is seeing families: mom's age, spread in children's ages, etc. I also love reading all the neat names. Enjoy your service in slippers!

Elise Decker said...

Our ward is kind of obsessed with indexing. We have a HUGE indexing committee, and then indexing parties like every week. It's a big deal.

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