Please Raise Your Hand!
Can you imagine a world without volunteers? The first thing you might notice is the lack of school crossing guards. Volunteer Fire Departments would be unstaffed, many local libraries, schools and hospitals would have to make significant cuts or adjustments to their programs and services. Local, national and international disaster relief organizations would all but disappear and much of life as we know it would change radically…and NOT for the better!
I read recently that every year approximately one in four Americans volunteer some of their time for a project or cause that is important to them. The four largest organizations built on the shoulders of volunteers are the Salvation Army, The American Red Cross, United Way and the YMCA. Between these four non-profits over 6 million people volunteer their time, talent and treasure every year.
Why do Americans volunteer? There are many reasons but the one motivation that drives them all is a commitment to realize a worthy ideal. Volunteers know they can actually change the world in a significant and positive way by working together. The cause might welfare of animals, the feeding the homeless, the building of Habitat for Humanity homes, promoting literacy, etc. Ideals that make the world a more just and equitable place to live. That is our mission and vision at OASIS Community of West Michigan. We do what we do not just for our own adult children, but so that the next generation and the one after that will have meaning-filled lives with friendships and supportive relationships filled with opportunities they might not otherwise enjoy! We want to make the world a better place…for THEM!
I suppose by now you can see where this is going…. OASIS Community of West Michigan needs volunteers. We need volunteers not just to grow. We need volunteers to survive. We are a new non-profit and at a point in our development where progress is being hampered by unstaffed committees and too few people trying to do too much too often. And although we know you have a full plate trying to balance the responsibilities of a special needs parent with work and other family commitments please understand that every member of our board of directors has a full plate as well. Despite our busy lives in January 2018 your OASIS Community Board members collectively volunteered over 90 hours of our time building and promoting OASIS. That averages out to nearly 7.5 hours per month for each board member.
Here’s the good news! We aren’t asking you to volunteer 7.5 hours of your time each month! It may only be an hour or two… and not necessarily every month! And IT WILL NOT BE A LIFELONG COMMITMENT! We are looking for people to help out with tasks of varying size, in areas where they possess specific interests, skills and abilities. Over the following weeks we will feature some of our current volunteer needs along with a description of the “job” and an estimate of the time commitment. When you read about a way you can help make OASIS Community a success for our adult children with disabilities….PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND!
Steve Johnson, President – OASIS Community Board of Directors