Just last week I received an award at the annual SNAG Conference in Boston, SNAG's first ever Volunteer Recognition Award. The SNAG Board says that the award acknowledges my many volunteer efforts over the years such as the Professional Development Seminars, the Professional Guidelines, and numerous other activities.
Receiving an award was quite gratifying, and even emotional. The introduction by Brigitte Martin and Andy Cooperman brought tears to my eyes. But I never did the volunteer work expecting an award -- I simply volunteered to help because I believe that any person can make a difference.
Going one step further, I also believe that each person in a community has a responsibility to make a contribution.
I understand that these are busy times and it seems impossible to find time for volunteering. I don't have time for volunteering either. Yet, somehow, for me, volunteering isn't optional, it is an obligation, but it comes with rich rewards that can only be realized through the experience.
However it happens, volunteering seems to create good karma. It connects to something bigger than one person or one hour. Volunteering makes a difference for the community, and sooner or later, it can make a difference for you as well.
Help out and you will learn so much, meet new people, people will get to know you, and perhaps open up new opportunities.
Every organization needs help with jobs from big too small. Whether focusing on your local guild, national arts organization, school, or neighborhood, ask if you can help. Membership dollars (if any) cover only a small part of operations for most non-profit organizations. Organizations like SNAG can only thrive when volunteers help.
Speak up and volunteer your opinion. We all benefit when we share information, our experiences, and even our mistakes. It can be reaffirming to have others validate that we all have so much in common.
Our work and our community become more meaningful when we work together.
- Volunteer for your local arts organization like SNAG.
- Volunteer to help out at your next guild event.
- Need something from your local arts organization? Ask if you can make it happen. Using the words of Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see."
- Give Blood - One hour out of your day can save a life.
- Volunteer an opinion.
- Volunteer at your children's school.
- Volunteer at ResearchMatch.com to participate as a healthy control subject in medical research. It's easy and free.
- Volunteer to clean up your neighborhood.
Volunteer, and you will have made a difference.
SNAG Volunteer Recognition Award Pin designed by graphic design student Ross Tanner, Grand Valley State University. Fabricated by Ross Tanner, and Renee Zettle-Sterling, Associate Professor of Art and Design at Grand Valley State University.
Photo Credit for photos of pins: Renee Zettle-Sterling, SNAG Past-President
Photo Credit: Boris Bally, SNAG Conference attendee, SNAG Conference speaker and maker.
Photo Credit: Jim Bove