Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Volunteer Feedback

There have been several comments to the Neighbors Helping Neighbors blog recently that highlight the frustration level of some volunteers.

You need to remember you are volunteers and while you may have a desire and passion for the volunteer work you do, it is important to take a stepback and put things in perspective.

As you saw in many of the stories over the summer, the volunteers and responders in the Philippines also have a true passion for what they do.

The volunteers and government employees work hand-in-hand and often have dual roles. Everyone needs to work together for an emergency response to be effective.

These folks train in emergency response and participate in regular exercises. They are "Ready" because it is a way of life. For example, after the recent headlines in Davao, there was yet another headline today, "Bomb found near school".

According to the article, "... the bomb was probably intended for the celebration of the Kadayawan Festival last week." A festival that many of us participated in.

In early September, I will have the opportunity to meet with several local elected and appointed county executives. While I may agree with some of the views posted on the blog, they are not all necessarily my views.

It is my recommendation, that some of you take a step back, get away for a few weeks and look at things with a new set of eyes.

This has been suggested to several volunteers, with one providing the following comment, "If I were to step back; I'd probably step away at this point." To be honest, maybe it is time.

After some time away, think about what you want to do. Return to your current volunteer role or consider other alternatives?

I am not in any way saying to stop your current volunteer activities. You just need to put things in perspective, consider your family, friends, health and other activities.

There are other local volunteer organizations. For example, why not try a religious based organization, such as Reston Interfaith or an organization like the Red Cross. With the current economy, many non-profit organizations are looking for new volunteers.