Random Acts of Kindness Volunteer / Non-Profit Meetup Message Board › Without Borders Discussion Forum

Without Borders Discussion Forum

Dave
user 4600753
Irving, TX
Post #: 146
Here's the place to post and discuss ideas for "Without Borders." Hopefully other members can read what's going on, make suggestions, clarify procedures, give progress updates on various projects, and so on.

Dunreeth and I have been talking about this for awhile (really, since the Elf Esteem Workshop) but that doesn't mean ours are the only ideas or the best ideas. And the idea is to have group ownership, give others a chance to put their personal stamp on things.

I've got an idea for another volunteer op for a Saturday every few months...Buckners Shoes for Orphaned Soles...they facilitate large groups.
To read about it go to...shoesfororphanedsoles [dot] org > Volunteers > Process Shoes.
They are neat, tiddy and organized like the the Soup Mobile event is. ~Patrick

Dave's note: it's "...orphansoles" (no ed as he typed it). So there's something we can look at, reflect on, see what others suggest, and so on.

Since we can't all meet regularly, this is a place to share ideas before we do. Looking forward to reading what everybody thinks!

~Dave
Judy R.
scubalady2
The Colony, TX
Post #: 1
Thank you for this discussion thread, Dave. As it turns out it will be more important for me than I expected as I already have plans on 2/16 and will not be able to attend our brunch that Saturday. I have plans the 3rd Saturday of every month and didn't realize until I got home and checked my calendar :( Have a Mimosa for me!!! I can still make something for the brunch and get it to someone who lives close to The Colony to take for me, so if you live close please let me know.

Dave, I love your soul already and I barely know you. I went to http://www.shoesforor...­ and it touched my heart in a huge way. Wow, what a way to make a difference by helping people and changing the hearts of those you touch. Watch the video, everyone!!! This gal is not afraid to go big, so I am in! The only thought I had while I watched this video was that I would like to make a difference like that in our OWN country if the need exists here but to Dave's point, they are very organized and established.

I would only challenge this group to ask you, "Do we want to do something big and become established doing something new or help out others that already are." I am not afraid to learn, grow and blaze a new trail but I am also very willing to pick up and help those whose trails are already well-worn with deep ruts. To make a difference is what I am after as you are.

Thanks again for this thread, the group and I look forward to making a difference with this group!
Lysa
user 32145642
Carrollton, TX
Post #: 1
I really love this idea and I think, with a core group, we can accomplish ALOT! That being said, I like the idea of helping the Genesis Women's Shelter in Dallas. We can have a get together (similiar to the bowling event) where we did something but also helped a cause. Collecting donations for the womens shelter would be something that I would be interested in doing.

Link to what is needed by the shelter: http://www.genesisshe...­

They also need volunteers for Special Events that they will be running (I'm contacting the coordinator now to get more info). I'll be able to share the information here once I get it.
Dave
user 4600753
Irving, TX
Post #: 147
@All: think of me as a fellow member, like yourself. Without Borders is really Dunreeth's baby. Only assistant organizers can post events, so naturally she had to work with an AO to get it up and running. We need to have Lance make her an AO so she can be the actual leader of it. I want the result to match the direction she wants, so she's the authority on this.

That said, I've been volunteering with the group since Dec '07. Hopefully I can help troubleshoot some problems, foresee which questions need to be answered, and so on.

Somewhere I read a quote that said, essentially, "If you want to sail around the world, don't look for carpenters and sailmakers to help you. Instead, find men who long for the sea." I took it to mean that yes, there are those who know how to fit the joints together or sew together a sail, but it's better to find someone who dreams of accomplishing the task. Those people may not know how to do the task, but they're driven to figure it out, and they'll end up doing it better than anyone who's just working a 9-5 job. If we tasked someone who didn't care about dogs or didn't like bowling to set up yesterday's event, would we have had those totally cool trophies, I ask you? When people believe in something and put their best energies into it, the results are much richer and more satisfying, IMO.

@Judy: ouch, sorry you can't make it to the Feb 16 meeting! I don't know how Patrick stumbled across the shoes thing, but I think this presents a chance to explain a bit more about what I was thinking. The core group has a chance to ask questions, make suggestions, etc, rather than running it by an AO for approval. And the core group gets a feel for how much support an idea might have. We might veto something (suppose something seems like it's really a for-profit idea). The core group serves as kind of a watchdog but may also try to facilitate because we have connections and more hands to accomplish tasks.

As we discussed, working with a group that's established means that the people who need help have already been "vetted." They've gone through some sort of application process and been screened. But there are other causes where we don't know 100% for sure that it's on the level, so we need to ask more questions.

@Lysa: certainly, we can repeat that type of event (having an activity like bowling while addressing something worthwhile). We could...play Putt Putt, shoot pool, go to Dave & Buster's, go to Speed Zone, and others. If you had a cause for kids in mind, maybe Chuck E. Cheese would be a fun venue. I really enjoy that type of event---you can have fun, get to know other volunteers, and do some good all at the same time.

Here's a couple of links I think you'll enjoy:

http://cainesarcade.c...­

http://cainesarcade.c...­

October 6. We have got to figure something out! I put a note on the calendar already. We'll get Mary onboard...she's a big fan, too!

We need to develop a set of questions for people who want to "champion" a cause. When planning it, we need to know things like:
1) How many of us can you accomodate?
2) Where do we park?
3) What is our time slot?

And so on. From past experience....

1) If you have a cold, Soupmobile doesn't want you making sandwiches. The people whom they serve have weakened immune systems.

2) If you want to bring food to residents at Ashford Hall, don't: they aren't allowed to have it (some are diabetic, some need their food broken up, etc.).

3) If you want to build ramps with Valorie and her group, sign up early: they don't want big numbers because there's only so much to do and too many on-site clogs the machinery, so to speak.

4) If you want to take pictures at a shelter for abused women, stick to fellow volunteers but absolutely not the residents. They don't want their abusive husbands finding out where they are.

So that gives an idea of some of the troubleshooting. Some things are generic, like parking; others will depend on the particular event. Health concerns, safety concerns, privacy concerns---for both volunteers and the people they serve---need to be looked at.

In general, I think we should be divergent, not convergent thinkers. "Should we do the shoes or the women's shelter?" No. "Should we do the shoes AND the women's shelter?" Maybe...let's check both out and see.

I hope this will be like having a crayon box that contains a million colors. When we did the Elf Esteem workshop in December we had a potluck, and that was fun. Yesterday, we didn't have any food at all...but it was still fun. And members, as hosts/hostesses, pick a cause and decide what to do with it. Want to have another potluck? Let's. Don't want to? OK. Would you rather order pizza or go to the pizza place? Fine, that'll work. No, you'd rather sponsor a happy hour? That'll work. Wait, this place will let us have a happy hour AND they'll have free appetizers? Cool!

I know the "Am I doing this right? Is this okay?" feeling. Still, we want the members to own the group. It's what YOU, the host, want it to be. Ask for input if you like, or decide no, this is how I want to do it. Food is just one variable. What day? What time? Will it require donations, money? Play, serious, both? Do you want to make it a kid-friendly event? And so on.
Dave
user 4600753
Irving, TX
Post #: 149
PS-I think we'll have to start multiple threads in here. One will be for the shoes...another will be for the women's shelter...another will be for the play day. And of course other future ideas will come along. If we don't separate them, we'll end up with tons of messages all mixed up and it'll become impossible to find what we were looking for. As I recall, anybody can start a discussion (you don't have to be an AO). So if we start and link back here...

http://www.meetup.com...­
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