Volunteer - what should I do?

I have been trying to find a job in some type of counseling field, but I only have a Bachelor’s degree. Anyway, I found a social work intern position on craigslist, where I could observe counseling sessions, but it’s mainly a drug and alcohol testing. But, they do counseling sessions for people, and have a juvenile diversion which I was interested in also. The lady who owns the place does not have a PhD or Master’s though, so she’s technically not a therapist. It’s still pretty new (a little over a year) and so I like the fact that she allows us to offer ideas and inputs. Also, it’s unpaid for right now, but eventually I think she will start paying us.

My problem is, I have another place that I think is better suited for me; it’s at a problem pregnancy center, that is Catholic-based and I have worked with them briefly before a long time ago, but didn’t do much. I went in today to their new office, and they were so nice and I loved that they were so into the Catholic faith, and even made a little chapel in there for them to pray. They said they would let me counsel the girls, which I really want to do.

I don’t want to do both places, because I still have work and I might want to even find another job (something small like working at a boutique on the weekend). I just first want to focus on a paying job, but I still want an opportunity to help people, especially with girls and young woman, or troubled youth.

What do you think is the best place , considering the 2 options?

Both choices offer you the ability to learn and to help people.

It sounds to me like you already have a strong preference.

If I was in your shoes, I would give serious weight to the fact that the catholic center will not put any pressure on you to compromise your beliefs, and you will have the opportunity to help save lives in a direct and immediate way.

The other position sounds more bureaucratic, and you have not said that they will actually support and train you to do the counselling. Counselling in Drugs and Alcohol addiction is also extremely difficult, and very challenging. I would expect it needs lots of experience. Counselling related to crisis pregnancies is somewhere that your youth and inexperience may have some benefits as the young women will be able to feel more understood and connected with when receiving counselling from another young person. That center will facilitate a direct witness of your faith.

At the end of the day both options are Good. Both options have the potential the help you develop your skills and serve The Lord and His People.

Go spend an hour in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament at your nearest church. When you’re finished that you will know where to go.

option # 1 does not pay the bills… could go on forever like that…

Option # 2 sounds like it does pay,… we cannot live on love alone…

Plus it sounds more challenging , and rewarding for you…

I was just thinking the same thing!

Same here. Go for the paying job, especially when it’s a catholic place. :thumbsup:

I don’t like the idea that the first place has no credentials. These drug and alcohol counseling centers are opening up everywhere, and sometimes they are nothing more than an ex-addict or recovering alcoholic throwing up a shingle. Very skeptical of this movement.

The crisis pregnancy center sounds great, though. Is there a possibility that you will be paid at some point?

No, I am pretty positive I won’t be paid at the crisis pregnancy center… and I feel bad asking. But, I guess I could ask in a polite way. This is why I am having a hard time deciding, because the other place will eventually start paying, whether it’s a little or not… it’s still something.

In the mean time, you still got bills to pay, right? Get a paycheck that will get you through while you work through this mess. Maybe volunteer part time. See how that works.

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