By most accounts, many of us are fortunate people. In our professional lives we do important work, and in our personal lives we lead interesting and meaningful lives. Most of us are aware of the struggles of those less fortunate … and take active roles in making the lives of others better.
You have heard me talk of my volunteering in New Orleans and the way my conversations with those impacted by Katrina changed my life and outlook. I knew New Orleans before the storm and worked in New Orleans after the storm. The spirit of the volunteers that came to help was remarkable. The volunteers were focused, worked hard, and had a deep commitment and caring attitude for the people.
With the San Antonio conference but a handful of months away we are eagerly planning our 4th annual Volunteer Day. This is our day to give back. New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Atlanta have laid the groundwork of meaningful volunteer work experiences for almost 300 of you. I am hopeful that many of you who gave of your time to help those in need in these three cities will once again sign up to impact the lives of those who need you.
If you are reading this article and have yet to experience a Volunteer Day, please give it serious consideration. As in past years we will do our work on the Saturday before the conference. Work begins in the 1-4 p.m. slot at the San Antonio Food Bank.
Recognizing that coming in early may not be opportune, this year I have arranged for an additional volunteer slot of 5:30-8:30 p.m. on the Wednesday that the conference ends. Hopefully this post-conference opportunity will allow you to stay and be part of what has become a tradition for the DRI conference under the banner of the Disaster Recovery International Foundation.
As Vice President on the Foundation Board and Director/Committee Chair for Volunteerism, I have a vested interest and ongoing passion to bring help to those in need. As business continuity experts, we are all too aware of the plight of many post disaster. We are pessimists by trade and worry that the worst may actually happen, and we ultimately write our plans with that in mind.
Knowing full well what can and does happen, we are best placed to be helpful and caring responders and making someone’s life a touch better via our volunteer work. San Antonio, although a wonderful place — and a great place for a conference, is not without people in need.
Please come to the conference, volunteer with me, get your hands dirty, and make the lives of others better in the process. As Al Berman, our DRI President, and whose idea it was to form our Foundation puts it, “Why wouldn’t people want to volunteer with Clyde? He feeds them, gives them a T-shirt, provides them with goodies, and throws parties for them.” All true. Your commitment to me, the Foundation, and the people you help is matched by my appreciation and commitment to you.
Join me in San Antonio. I will be honored to make your Volunteer Day a memorable one.
All the best,
P.S. If the spirit moves you, please do not hesitate to share your volunteerism stories from other years with me!