I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. It is a group that tries to re-create the middle ages through picking a persona and living as they would in your time period. The organization is entirely run by volunteers. I am actually the chapter president of my local group of about 60 people.
So what makes me want to volunteer? It is all about learning valuable life lessons and learning things in a way that is not likely to get me in too much trouble if I make a mistake, like it might at a job. This last weekend I spent 10 hours at an event volunteering in the kitchen. I spent a good amount of time making pies from scratch. Before this event I could count on one hand the number of times I have made a pie. I made 33 pies in 4 hours at the event. The great thing is I now have learned a new skill and it didn’t cost me a cent. The act of making a pie is now permanently ingrained in me. I don’t really see myself making a ton of pies in the near future, but I now have the skill.
Imagine if you could do this for other valuable life lessons. Becoming politically active is a life lesson. The fact that you can vote to affect change is a very powerful and valuable thing to become good at.
I am working on an app called Zeall. Zeall is a way to become involved in things like politics. Zeall allows you to volunteer and take action, or even lead a group of volunteers, building life lessons along the way. In the SCA we have a system of awards that recognizes people’s work. Zeall provides the same function. In the SCA I get recognition by a small group of people, but it means a lot to me. With Zeall you can gain recognition with a large group of people. Volunteer organizations, political parties, and even the politicians themselves will be able to recognize your work.
Another thing that I struggle with as the chapter president is getting people to take action and step up to do things. The major breakdown in the system is coordinated communication. When I need to coordinate something it is a mix of text and Facebook messages. Zeall can fill that gap. With an application like Zeall I would be able to quickly and effectively organize people and see what they are doing and what needs to be done. As someone who regularly organizes events, being able to manage a group of people in real time would be invaluable.
Bonus SCA quick pie dough recipe:
300 grams flour
45 grams sugar
1 pinch salt
100 grams Crisco
110 grams of water.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a food processor. Add the Crisco and mix until crumbed. Add the water and mix until the dough has balled up. Take out of food processor and form into a ball. Cut in half. Pat it thin and refrigerate for at least 30 min.
Now do that 17 times and you have just made the dough. The next step is rolling them all out. Like I said, permanently ingrained.