In the spirit of National Volunteer Week we wanted to share highlights of some of ASAP’s team members who #dogood and make a difference every day.
I volunteer with the Fort Lewis Mesa Fire Protection District, which has roughly 25 volunteer members and three paid members. We cover the west side of La Plata County, Colorado. We received roughly 220 calls in 2017 and 85% of our calls are medical emergencies, with the remaining 15% being structure fires, wildfires, or search and rescue operations.
I have always felt a sense of commitment to helping others and helping my community, specifically in times of need. As I transitioned out of the law enforcement realm, volunteering for a fire department seemed like the best way for me to continue to provide that service. I have always enjoyed the environment and the strong camaraderie built through team sports, and I definitely have that with the other members of the department. On the job, we experience great highs and extreme lows. The shared experiences always bring us closer together. It is the commitment to the other members and the community that gets me out of bed when an emergency call comes through at 2am on a week night. I’m always proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the amazing men and women of our department.
I am a volunteer for North Idaho Habitat for Humanity. I volunteer on the Grant Writing Committee and participate in fundraising events. This organization builds homes for Veterans in Kootenai County, Idaho. There are 13,000 vets in Kootenai County, which has a population of about 140,000. Currently, Habitat builds about 2 homes a year costing about $200,000. Their 5 year goal is to build 5 homes/year.
I chose this organization as I was seeking an organization looking for grant-writing assistance. , through a personal search to learn how to grant write. They posted a volunteer position online in their grant writing committee. I felt it was a perfect fit, to pair an organization who has a need, with an outsider who has interest, reliability and researching skills.
Volunteering has expanded my awareness to what sort of issues and needs are present in my community and how other people are giving back to help serve a common core value. It has allowed me to build new relationships with people I now consider friends. Having a common interest, builds support for one another and brings me joy and hope. Time in our society is precious, and it truly is a blessing to be able to work alongside caring and compassionate people both at work and outside of work with Habitat. We really are all in this world together!
I am outgoing Board President for Riverhouse Children’s Center in Durango, Colorado. Riverhouse is a nonprofit early childhood education center with six classrooms educating 75 kids a day, ages six weeks through preschool.
I first got involved with Riverhouse Children’s Center to support the school where my children attended but the I learned a great deal about nonprofit management and leadership.
All in all my experience the last 4 years has given me the power of perspective. Learning about value of early childhood education has had a profound impact on the way I view education and economy as a whole. I have gained insight into how challenging it is to operate and run both a nonprofit and a school. Challenges went far beyond the quality of education and is an art of juggling state licensing requirements, health and safety code, to workforce challenges and risk management.
Supporting an organization that employed 28 women and was tasked with raising over $60k per year to sustain operations and growth was no easy task and I learned valuable, and hard lessons along the way. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something bigger, something different, and something profound. To pause, listen, and observe the power of a child’s development can really shift your perspective in life. These tiny children really are our future and from the lens at Riverhouse, the future is BRIGHT!