Saturday, January 24, 2009
This year we had such a pleasant surprise - 39 volunteers are in the class - about a 50% increase from last year! So, why such great participation? Was it simply luck, was it our new class schedule or did we promote it better?
Today members of the class introduced themselves and several mentioned President Obama, his emphasis on service and the volunteer service he promoted on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day earlier this week as their reason for being there.
Often these national days of service or trends are difficult to see play out locally. Our new president may just be providing the encouragement to get more people active. I'm pleased to see it!! Thanks to everyone who is sharing their time to serve!
Monday, January 19, 2009
One of the things that I have most enjoyed about working in Volunteer Services is meeting a wide variety of people who want to share their time to make Columbia a better place. There is no way to pigeon-hole our volunteers - they come from every walk of life.
I am always pleased to see the young people who volunteer in the summer through Youth In Action - an especially diverse group. They see volunteering is a stepping stone to a better future. Volunteering will help them gain experience for future employment and will look good to future colleges and scholarship committees where they want to be considered. The youth and their families know they can be great through service.
I think we spend time thinking too much about our differences when we should focus on what we have in common. Service is a common denominator among us all. This is a great day to reflect on the volunteerism each of us will share in 2009.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Through TreeKeepers, volunteers learn about many aspects of tree management and are then asked to share 36 hours of service on parks tree projects held on Saturday mornings.
Friday, January 2, 2009
I won't be able to mention everyone I visited with along the way, so here are a few highlights:
- The afternoon started with Diane, John and Karen coming to the office to pick up the hospitality food and supplies. They spent a few hours making deliveries and getting out the food for the volunteers and entertainers to enjoy. They have a wonderful can-do attitude and were happy to make deliveries to seven different buildings.
- That night, I stopped by the Missouri United Methodist Church. Diane Peterson, the site manager, kept a smile on her face as she directed people across the street to the MO Theatre to buy their buttons. Jeanne Kuntz was an usher and along with her smile had on a sequined jacket appropriate for this special night!
- The children's area was bustling with activity along with the help of more than six volunteers. Among them were friends Erin & Sharidan (pictured here).
- Upstairs at the Methodist Church, father-son team Rick & Nathan Cotner were awaiting the entertainment and the crowds while taking in the Chinese art.
- I walked over to the Missouri Theatre and saw many volunteers... Ernie & Norma Falloon, Laura Starjack and Joy Rushing. I enjoyed a visit with Willie Jones who was greeting people outside. His wife and daughter would be selling buttons there later in the evening.
- Stamper Commons at Stephens was also busy... Jody Cook was the site manager and had a great group of volunteers. Sally Burnley was entertaining with her drum circle. Bob McClure was serving as an usher.
- Then to my assignment for the night - Windsor Auditorium. I enjoyed visiting with Art Jeffrey, Michele Sisson-White and Wayne Boykin who were also volunteering there. I ran into Paul & Anne Heine who were enjoying the entertainment after volunteering earlier at the 5K run.
This is just a taste of all the fabulous people I ran into on Wednesday night. Thank you, thank you to our volunteers - for sharing your time and being wonderful people. I enjoy your friendship and your smiling faces. Here's to a wonderful 2009!