I really believe I was fortunate to grow up in a family of volunteers! From as far back as I can remember, my parents and my older siblings were involved in some form of volunteerism...my father was on several non-profit Boards; he built tent platforms at Girl Guide Camps and repaired the kitchens and cabins.
My mom was involved with several groups through our church; she was a "tester" for the local Girl Guide group; she was President of the local Jaycee chapter....she made toys out of scraps of fabric for children in hospital. The list of their volunteer service is long. My sister has been involved in the Girl Guide organization for decades. My brother has been involved with his church, Habitat for Humanity and countless other organizations.
I began my volunteer "career" in my grandmother's nursing home, spending time with her and other residents. I have been involved in church endeavours, community, political groups and work-based projects as a volunteer and I have learned something through all of those experiences. Not just about the organizations, not just about how to be a volunteer, but about me. That has probably been the most significant experience....I am still learning.
I remember learning about the "care & feeding" of volunteers...how showing appreciation goes a long way. I remember the groups where I did not receive that simple thank you....it does make a difference.
So, I try to remember that always. I try to remember that while others may have tremendous passion in their involvement with OA, they also have another life....their family, friends, work, home....and worries. And while we are all working our own program...we are usually not done yet.....even with years and years of abstinence, strong abstinence, we can still be imperfect...slightly flawed....still a little damaged...I know I am learning, being opened up to learn by my HP and this program.....I have the rest of my life to learn.
Thank you for all you do for OA...attending meetings, setting up chairs, taking the key to your meeting, representing your group, participating on a committee or Intergroup Board or providing service as a member of the Region One Board. We all need all of us. Together we get better.
Region I Chair
Beverly M. Region One Chair firstname.lastname@example.org