Volunteerism is an essential part of what makes an association like SAR viable. We have over 6,000 Members to provide services to and only 25 staff to try to accomplish the task. The only way that works is through the generous help of our Members that volunteer.
Our Members volunteer to serve as Officers and Directors, as Committee Chairs, as Committee Members and in many other capacities to help accomplish our mission.
But there is another side to being a volunteer. That is the obligation you accept when you volunteer. Once you sign up to participate, many others are counting on you to be committed to performing the tasks which you agreed to perform. That may include the duties of being an Officer or Director, of being a Committee Chair, or being a volunteer worker on a project.
We recently participated in a Rebuilding Together project. The staff of this non–profit organization identifies homes with disabled homeowners or homeowners with limited resources and brings in materials and volunteers to help rehabilitate the home and allow them to remain in the home that they might otherwise have to vacate. Their staff matches up volunteer groups with these homes to accomplish identified tasks within the time allotted. We had about thirty Members sign up to participate in the project. Only about ten of those Members actually showed up and participated. That is not fair to the other Members that had to try to do the work scheduled for thirty. It is not fair to the homeowner that did not have all the work completed that had been scheduled.
I do not want to discourage anyone from volunteering and, in fact, my goal is to encourage more Members to commit to the volunteer efforts. But on the other hand, when you sign up it has to be a greater commitment than "I will be there if it is convenient." It must be a commitment that you will do everything you can to fulfill the obligation you created, barring some significant problem arising.
That same commitment is necessary in all the other volunteer positions as well. Once you volunteer, there are many others counting on you to satisfy that commitment. Whether it be as an Officer, Director, Committee Member or a volunteer on a project, if you don’t perform your obligations someone else has to pick up the slack.
Our Association is at its best when our Members are actively engaged in these volunteer opportunities. I encourage you to both volunteer and actively participate.
– Dave Tanner, SAR CEO