“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” Oscar Wilde
I believe my kindness in volunteering is given for selfish reasons, however, we all volunteer for our own reasons. I love volunteering because it makes my heart happy. I recently came across the following list of skills of a volunteer and think each one is applicable to the hundreds of OCWS volunteers I have crossed paths with:
- They Have a Fearless Approach
- They Have Infinite Patience
- They Think Creatively
- They Are Eager to Take Initiative
- They Stay Humble About Their Work
- They Are Driven by Passion
The Wine Society seems to tend to create monster volunteers. For me, it took just raising a hand to volunteer at The Courtyard 21 years ago to get me hooked. I had such a great time and found so many people with amazing hearts. Kind, intelligent, fun-loving people that I otherwise would, most likely, never have crossed paths with during this lifetime. Please don’t get me wrong, volunteering for me hasn’t always been fun since I have the tendency, like many of us, to raise my hand just a bit too often and very seldom is the word “no” in my vocabulary, but volunteering most certainly has always been fulfilling.
One thing you can be assured of as a member is that you will be asked repeatedly to volunteer. Volunteerism is not a requirement of membership and solicitation to volunteer does not mean you are obligated. But I promise you, if you have not thrown your hat into the volunteer pool, try it, you won’t regret it. You will meet people you otherwise might not meet; you will share stories and laughter and, I hope, you will find as much enjoyment in volunteering as I have and that your heart will be equally as fulfilled.
This brings me to the point that this organization runs on volunteerism and the old adage that “many hands make for light work.” There are a handful of dedicated people who have the time to volunteer on a regular basis, but it is the many members who have but a few days or just a few hours a year that we would not be able to exist without. With each new board year begins the planning for our annual major events and social programs, as well as an extensive list of administrative functions. I urge you all to look at the 2021/22 List of Responsibilities posted in this edition and see if you can find a bit of time to lend a hand here and there. If you have interest or expertise in any of the areas listed, please contact me or the Chairs listed and, at the very least, see what things are about. You might just be pleasantly surprised!
I urge all of you who can make the time, even for just an hour at an event you consider attending anyway, to try volunteering. It can be truly addictive; just ask anyone who has tried it. Within our organization, it seems to be as much a social experience as any event you attend. In closing, I quote John F. Kennedy when he said: “Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.” I look forward to an incredible year ahead!
– Fran Gitsham, President