I learn a lot by volunteering. I volunteered to co-lead an ARISE group at my church. This program was designed to get to know parishioners a bit better, share our faith walk and reinvigorate our faith. When the program was over, our group had bonded so much that we decided to continue to meet in my home to discuss Catholic books that we read twice a year. This lasted 5 years. I learned a great deal about myself, my faith walk and about my fellow parishioners.
I volunteered to be Program chair when I was a member of Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild. This was fun and challenging. I did get nervous before each meeting, hoping that many of the guild members would enjoy and learn something from each speaker. I learn to be flexible. I also learned how to deal with speakers and their requests. Sometimes I asked a speaker to modify their talk and design a new talk which would benefit our guild. I remember when Pat Harrison came to our guild. We decided to have 4 or 5 guild members bring quilt tops. Because Pat was a judge and a longarm quilter, we talked about many options to quilting each quilt. Knowing the speakers’ strengths and the guilds desire to learn helps when designing a great program. The guild meeting was fun and educational.
I volunteered at Holliston Cable Access Television too. First, I learned how to white balance a camera. Then how to write a script for the teleprompter for a show. I produced “A Quilter’s Touch” for 6 years. You can watch and listen to my shows on http://www.hcattv.org. Click on “Video on demand” and then All folders will pop up. My show is near the top of the alphabetical list. I even learned to edit my show, myself. The staff was very helpful. Eventually, I was voted onto the Board of Directors. I volunteered as Secretary and then President of the Board. I learned to work with others, how to design a strategic plan. We wrote a new mission statement, designed a survey to find out what demographic we were missing in our viewers. This information was critical when deciding what shows to add to the schedule. It was a challenging and rewarding job.
Recently, I volunteered to assist Linda Pearl and Marianne Schewers at the Connections Quilt Festival. I learned how to hang a quilt show. I learned how to write posts to help boost attendance and sales for the vendors. I learned how to take down a show too. There are so many aspects running a quilt show. I hope you will volunteer to help out with an activity. You will make new friends, learn a lot and have fun too! Here’s a photo of me with Island Batik Ambassador, Sally Johnson and quilting teacher, Melinda Bula.
One more area in which I volunteer to help is as an Island Batik Ambassador. A box of fabric arrives at my doorstep twice a year. Challenges are sent for each month. It is fun and challenging to satisfy each challenge, post photos and a story or directions all with each challenge. I’ve learned a lot this year. For example, now I know how to submit patterns on Craftsy.com. So far I have two patterns on their site. The first is “Back to School Chickies” and the second is “Mango Re-Mix”.
For the past 5 years, I have heard and read articles stating that volunteers are getting more and more scarce. I hope to encourage you to volunteer to help your guild, cable tv station, or local chapter of a hobby of yours. It will be a win win for both you and the organization you volunteer to help.