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Your Life Calling

The Gift of Water Live Chat Transcript

If you missed the chat with Jane and her guests David Simms and Ken Wood, you can catch the conversation here.

Comment from Joe: A lot of us still need to make an income. Any ideas for finding 'good work' that pays a wage?

Simms: Joe, lost in all the bad news about the economy is the fact that nonprofits as a category actually have grown by about 2.5% in the last year. There clearly are pockets of organizations growing more strongly - like charter schools - where you may want to concentrate your job search to find a position that would allow you to use your skills well.

Comment from Jared: Ken, how best could one with technical experience related to drilling and installing groundwater wells help? This work that you are doing is great, I'd love to get involved!

Wood: Jared, we appreciate your offer, but at this point in the operation, the best help you could provide is a donation.

Comment from Julie: Very nice piece today, thank you! I also wanted the site for contributions. Jane, you mentioned teachers, and my ears really perked up. I am 50 and would like to move into the business world away from the direct service of teaching and consulting. Any ideas on how to pursue that?

Pauley: Julie, you may find undiscovered strengths in the business world but I wouldn’t rule out being available to an opportunity in business where your experience and skills in the classroom might apply. I doubt had Ken Wood been looking for a reinvention opportunity that he would have begun his search in well-drilling. But as you saw, it was his lifetime expertise that is the gift. So don’t be so quick to run from teaching. Just think teaching in some unexpected kind of ‘classroom.’ Good luck.

Comment from Irene: I'm retired and 63. I was a computer programmer for over 17 years and went back to school and have a certificate in computer graphic design. Any ideas on how I could help a non-profit with my skills?

Simms: Irene, it's great to see a person with computer graphic design skills! Many nonprofits can't afford to hire someone full time on their staffs to help them with their web site or web communication strategy. Do you have a particular issue area that is meaningful to you? Why not look at some nonprofit web sites that are in that area and find a worthy organization that could use a real upgrade of their web presence? You will have to network your way in, and have a humble attitude of how you might be able to help them.

Comment from Rich: Can I get a copy of the program today to show to local groups to help support Kenny?

Pauley: Rich, all of our ‘Your Life Calling’ segments, including Ken Wood, live permanently on the AARP website. Go to

Comment from Chris: Ken, do you have a fundraiser or a grant writer?

Wood: At this point, it's strictly through the web site. Some organizations, churches, and friends give us money, but we're running the operation ourselves.

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