It’s a good time to assess your VQ

The choice of possible dinner guests was, on its own, enough to make me want to take the quiz.

There were only six possible answers to the question: “What couple would you want to invite to dinner?”

•Celine Dion and Pablo Picasso

•David Suzuki and Jane Goodall

•Gandhi and Bono

•Dr. Seuss and Craig Kielburger

•Tommy Douglas and Terry Fox, or

•Mother Teresa and Franklin D. Roosevelt

I was sufficiently intrigued by the pairings that I took the quiz not once, not twice, but a half-dozen times.

The quiz in question is designed to reveal someone’s VQ, or volunteer quotient. I stumbled across it on getinvolved.ca, while researching National Volunteer Week, which this year runs April 12 to 18.

VQ is apparently like IQ or EQ, which respectively measure intelligence or emotional maturity. VQ is about volunteerism, and the quiz promises to reveal if I’m a Type A, a Rookie, a Groupie or fall into some other category.

And all I need do is answer 13 simple questions.

The first asks about your fantasy career and presents you with six photos, each representing a type. I automatically go for the photo of Bono — hey, who wouldn’t want to be a critically acclaimed rock star — before more seriously considering from a list of six that includes Nobel Peace Prize winner, environmental warrior (with a photo of Al Gore) and attorney for the wrongly accused.

Question three involves the couples you’d invite for dinner. Another asks which causes you are likely to support when friends sell fundraising tickets. One asks how you spend your free time, while another asks about the news headlines that grab your attention.

Regardless of who I invite to dinner, the quiz determines that I am a Juggler. Such volunteers are, apparently, dynamos who want to create their own volunteer opportunities whenever possible.

Our busy lives make it hard to commit, but when we do we are enthusiastic contributors. Even at our busiest, we are there when truly needed. We are, according to the quiz, masters of the all-nighter.

Our VQ traits are: flexible, energetic, freewheeling, autonomous, techno geek, independent, open-minded, and explorer.

If you disagree with the results, there’s a button marked ‘You’ve got me all wrong! Start over.’ But a second button promises to show you ‘Your volunteer matches.’

I learn that as a Juggler volunteer, I should be looking for a non-profit that offers a variety of opportunities. I’m to ask about the different skill sets they are looking for and are willing to help develop.

I should explore diverse opportunities that appeal to me and support personal goals, which often involve using existing skills or developing new ones. Jugglers see volunteering as an opportunity to learn, strengthen a resume, build confidence or connect with new networks.

My passion, I’m told, is for international development.
By providing my area code, I’m taken to a page that lists volunteer opportunities that might interest me.

The selections are interesting. I learn that the Canadian Cancer Society in Waterloo Region is looking for Daffodil Month volunteers. And an organization called the Canadian Council for the Dissemination of Science and Culture is looking for a Guelph-based virtual public relations associate.

But those two opportunities stand out because they are (somewhat) local. Most of the listings I reviewed are for opportunities that volunteers can tackle from anywhere.

Not surprisingly, the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington keeps a better list of the local opportunities. It maintains a database on its website, volunteerguelphwellington.on.ca, and publishes weekly recruitment adds.

The local Kidsability Centre for Child Development is currently advertising for an autism services assistant. The Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre is looking for volunteers to plant 200 trees in May. The Guelph and District Multicultural Festival needs volunteers to help with its June festival.

If you happen to find yourself online next week, perhaps you might want to spend a few minutes on one or both of the volunteer sites I mentioned. You may just learn a bit about your own VQ and, perhaps, find a volunteer opportunity that’s perfect for you.

Guelph resident Michael Strickland is trying to spend one day per week volunteering in 2015.

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