We make resolutions for the year and work to make them a part of our daily life. What do you want to change in 2017?
How productive were you as a volunteer last year? Did your club achieve the goals set for membership, fund-raising, community involvement, or youth-related projects, or any number of other challenges our members accept? Let’s cheer for those accomplished and applaud for those still active.
Did you resolve to take a new office, chairmanship, or project? Do you have what it takes to mentor a new member or a youth/club? Is it your desire to complete one or more of the NGC schools or become a four or five-star member?
Garden clubs often take a well-deserved break from many of their monthly projects and programs while planning for the new year. Thankfully, this time allows us to renew our energy and enthusiasm for our club work. The need for those who care, and the list of issues that affects us daily, is growing. With the warmer days of spring and longer daylight hours, we find our desire to garden, nurture our creativity, and kick start our community improvement projects returning.
Does the work matter? Do you matter? YES! Volunteers are vital. The Points of Light Philanthropy’s (CECP) Valuation Guide lists the current independent sector rate at $23.56 per hour (2015) and pro bono work as calculated using the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s Calculation Guide. The Corporation for National & Community Service reports 36.29% participation in group/organizations, 7.8 million volunteers, for an estimated value of $184 billion.
The valuation of annual contributions made by NGC’s members would reveal the dedication and passion of men and women who are committed to education, their communities, and the objectives of garden clubs. Do NGC and garden clubs matter? Ask the student who received a scholarship, the community who could not pay for beautification projects, the school that is strapped for money and resources, the youth who needed someone to guide and work with him, or the recipient of garden therapy who felt renewed from the connection with nature. Local garden clubs make a difference.
It is easy to find excuses for not joining an organization, for not participating in projects and programs, for taking the easy path. We are proudest of the things that require the most of our time, resources, and passion. The challenge for 2017 is to continue talking the talk and walking the walk, to Leap into Action with renewed energy and drive. I hope to cross the finish line with you!
Sandra H. Robinson
National Garden Clubs, Inc.