Why do you volunteer and/or serve on the BOD?
Several years ago a friend invited me and several other members of the clergy to share lunch, a talk and a tour at Baltimore Station. Before that, I knew nothing about it. On that first day I came, I saw, I “got it!” I knew that their needs and my congregation’s talents and interests were a match.
We began by cooking and serving dinner. But, by far, the most significant thing we did was meet the residents, engage in conversation, learn their stories, start to care about them as individuals. Our volunteerism quickly expanded to supporting fund raisers and meeting simple needs like providing pillows and mugs.
Being a faith community we felt a deep spiritual component to our encounters with residents and those who served them. As we got to know the staff we saw women and men for whom the Station was much more than a job; it was a calling. When we saw how committed they were, when we saw how hard they worked, when we saw what a huge challenge it was to raise funds we felt more and more compelled to step up our involvement.
What do you enjoy most about being on the BOD?
I was honored to be invited to become part of the Board and I derive a great deal of satisfaction from my participation. It is a Board that seeks your ideas, your feedback, your direct involvement. I like the work on subcommittees that directly results in positive changes and, hopefully, meaningful improvements I like working closely with the excellent staff. I like learning from other board members who offer different perspectives, extensive personal and material resources, and impressive professional expertise. It is not a Board that exists so that your name can be on the letterhead. It is a Board that sincerely seeks to make optimal use of what you have to offer. That, of course, is both rewarding and motivating.
What’s your best memory of volunteering?
There are many Here are three highlights. One. Dancing with a resident to The Four Tops at the fabulous gala. Two. All the sincere thank-you’s. Three. All the lengthy, moving one on one conversations/shared life stories. Four. Looking up from my dinner to see all fourteen members of my congregation engrossed in conversation with at least one resident. It was a beautiful collage.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering or interested in serving on our board?
To volunteers: do it. You will leave knowing you have received more than you have given. To Board Members: This is a board that engages you, requires something significant from you, and rewards you in a life affirming way. It is a very special, and for me sacred, place.
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