Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Do Something for Nothing

By Suzanne Kashuba

What would you do for nothing?

Winston Churchill said,We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.”

Nearly 63 million American adults give of their time, volunteering for a cause they believe in, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

FLW_Bflo2I know first-hand that volunteering reaps many rewards. I’m a volunteer docent for Buffalo’s Darwin Martin House Complex, where I enjoy giving tours a couple of times a month. It’s great fun to show off this amazing Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece to people from around the world. I learn so much and work with an intelligent, enthusiastic group who share my interests in local history and architecture. The positive energy is contagious!

I’ve also had the pleasure of working with some of the hundreds of volunteers involved with WNED public broadcasting. They are living proof that volunteering is a great way to spend quality time with others, build team spirit, pursue personal passions or contribute valuable skills while giving back to the community.

In fact, in its extensive review of more than 30 rigorous and long-term research studies, the Corporation for National and Community Service found plenty of scientific proof that volunteering leads to better mental and physical health. (Learn more in “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research.”)

On Oct. 25, I attended the inspiring WNED Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in the stations’ downtown Buffalo studios.

The event was held to recognize the contributions of about 300 volunteers who spent a combined 6,733 hours helping out at WNED in fiscal year 2011 (July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011) — an in-kind donation estimated to be worth $94,262!

The volunteers are some of the most spirited and hard-working people I know. They help with all our events, including the WNED Kid Fest and the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. They answer phones and tally donations during fund-raising pledge drives for both television and radio. They help with computer projects and mailings.



NIne of WNED’s Top 10 volunteers who contributed the most hours in fiscal year 2011.
2011 Dennis Penman Volunteer of the Year Becky Krempa celebrates with the award’s namesake, a WNED board of trustees chair emeritus.

One exceptional volunteer – Becky Krempa – was honored as the 2011 Dennis Penman Volunteer of the Year. She’s helped with all of the above, and so much more. She supervises other volunteers and helps secure and pick up donations for the WNED Kid Fest and television pledge drives.

But her enthusiasm and positive attitude make her a stand-out volunteer. Dennis Penman, the award’s namesake (a WNED board of trustees chair emeritus), mentioned a few of Becky’s qualities when presenting the award: sunny disposition, reliable, willing, capable, committed, responsible, prepared … the list goes on.

WNED is truly blessed to have such a high caliber of dedicated volunteers—and we’re always looking for more! Our volunteers (both individuals and groups) work when convenient for them (daytime/evening/weekends). They have fun with each other and are a valuable part of WNED’s activities, including events and pledge drives for radio and television. They perform both routine and specialized tasks; volunteers have photographed events in our studios, staffed our Viewer Services information line, transformed into PBS KIDS characters for the WNED Kid Fest and assisted appraisers during the WNED Antiques Homeshow. 

Would you like to contribute your time and talent to WNED public broadcasting? To sign up or find out more, please e-mail volunteers@wned.org, complete our online Volunteer Registration Form or call (716) 845-7025 in the United States or (416) 363-3444 in Canada.

Chances are, you have a skill, an interest (and, yes, even a schedule) that would be the perfect fit for WNED or another nonprofit organization that could use your help.

If you can volunteer in Buffalo or Erie County, the United Way has a comprehensive Web site that allows you to search for the opportunity that’s just right for you, your family or your group! Check it out.

What was your favorite volunteer experience and why?

No comments:

Post a Comment