My past few blogs on this site have focused on breaking down the12 determinants of health. To date we have discussed social support networks, personal health practices and coping skills, education, healthy employment, food security and cross-generational relationships, in a way that I hope has helped you understand the importance these determinants have on your personal health but also in building strong communities. This month (and not just because it is Volunteer Appreciation Month), I want to focus on giving back in a way that many of us do not often think of … through Community Service.
Depending on your demographic (baby boomer down to Gen Y), we all define community service in different ways but I want to highlight a very impactful way in which you can give back to community. Often we think of giving back in more traditional ways or perhaps we just think they are more meaningful and direct such as packing food bins, reading to seniors, helping out at registration desks and providing a helping hand to staff running programs. However, imagine the value you can bring in helping to form an organization’s strategic direction, ensuring their accountability and building vital and connected communities? Think about your personal and professional experiences as a resource to help develop your local community organization and look into becoming a corporate member.
Members are an important part of any organization. Members are the engines that keep an organization on track with its mission, values and goals. Members are the voice of the communities they serve.
For only a few hours a year, one can expect to participate and support an organization by:
· Understanding their mission, vision and values.
· Being aware of how funding is received and used.
· Becoming familiar with meeting procedures and financial statements.
· Using services provided and giving feedback.
· Understanding each motion presented at meetings before voting.
· Help to develop the direction the organization takes
Our next Annual General Meeting is scheduled for June 2013. Please continue to stay in touch with us and let us know if you are interested in becoming a member or program volunteer. Membership helps you recognize that no matter where you are from, if your experience or ideas relate to even just one member of our community, you’ve helped greatly.
We look forward to seeing you in June!