One thing I love about our small community is that there are so many ways to get involved and contribute our time, talents and treasures for the betterment of each other.
Last night I had the opportunity to visit with the Sechelt Rotary evening club, and I was impressed with what they are doing, here and around the world... right down to the way they do their pass-the-glass end of meeting collection, with a dollar or more for a happy thought and then a sad one.
My Dad has always been involved in Rotary, so our family has participated in student exchanges, and we've gotten the missives from the galivanting parents when they've traveled for Rotary projects. Lest you feel that the idea of travel separates Rotarians from the great unwashed, I think it's a fine thing for those who can afford it to invest in travel only to arrive and go straight to work for their 'holiday'.
Rotarians also bring back their exposure to other cultures and ways of doing things, and in my experience, don't so much export the North American way of doing things as they do import fundamentally different ideas gained from one-to-one interactions with individuals and not-for-profits.
This weekend is the Annual Rotary Auction, and I heard straight from the horse's mouth that the items this year are without exception useful and valuable items and services to bid on. I hope you'll be watching Saturday from 5pm - 11pm... you may even catch me being an idiot on TV in one of the guest announcer stints.
Currently my own service work is in the area of sustainable economic and community development through Community Futures Development Corporation in Sechelt, where I co-Chair the Sustainable Opportunities Committee. It's a very hands-on committee, with a lot of interaction at the personal level with people in the community. I previously spent about 18 months on the Loans Committee and really enjoyed that - I was weak in the accounting/finance area and the folks on that committee really know their stuff and are eager to share and mentor other committee members.
I also support Sunshine Coast Hospice in my work and during the Lights of Life campaign every December in the Trail Bay Mall. I am so grateful for the work Hospice does in our community - to be able to die with dignity, in a home-like environment, to maintain friendships and grow closer with family and to have experienced people to listen and support the patient and their family through such an agonizing period is sublime beauty in action.
I also do about 10-15% of my web design/maintenance work pro bono for not-for-profit organizations, which is extremely rewarding at a personal level.
What are you involved in within our community for 'service'?
Please share your experiences... it's a good idea to vary service work and learning what others are doing is so helpful. How does it make you feel? What do you value in your time spent?
I hope you will join the conversation.