Director's Letter - September 2016

We love our volunteers…you hear every nonprofit organization say it, but what does it mean?

More than 32 years ago, Kiwanis Family House was started by volunteers—Kiwanians from Divisions 7 and 44 in the Sacramento area.  Then, for many years, it was entirely run by volunteers, with no paid hourly staff until moving into the current house, ten years ago.  But even with paid staff, there are still many ways in which volunteers make a huge difference even today.

The Board of Directors of Kiwanis Family House is an all-volunteer organization, as are the board committees.  These dedicated folks, currently all Kiwanians (although Kiwanis membership is not required to serve on our board), spend countless hours working on the business of Kiwanis Family House.  They bring their skills, experience, and energy to many tasks that would not or could not get done by the paid House staff due to limited time and resources.  They bring expertise and key contacts in finance, law, human resources, operations, marketing, and many other important areas, which have and will continue to benefit our House immensely.

You will find these dedicated leaders at the House whenever there is a board meeting, committee meeting, workday, or job to be done, whether or not it is a “board responsibility”.  As an example, our board President, Jim Legler, has been volunteering weekly at the House with another Kiwanian for several years, maintaining the lawns and landscaping between our two big annual workdays.  Board member Brian Davin keeps an overall eye on the landscaping at the House throughout the year, in addition to taking the lead on outdoor projects for our two annual workdays.

Many non-board members also dedicate countless hours of service to our House.  Greater Sacramento Kiwanis’ Bob Isaacs shops biweekly for our food closet, and if you don’t think that’s a big job, just ask his wife Ann!  East Sacramento’s Gary Christensen remains active in marketing and development activities, and you will often see him in the Kiwanis Family House booth with me at conventions and conferences.  After retiring from the board in June, my wife Rita continues to volunteer her time as editor of the House Talk newsletter, webmaster, and social media manager.  For all of these individuals, as for many of you, volunteering at Kiwanis Family House is a calling that becomes a way of life.  And it’s a good thing that it does, because this core group of dedicated, sustained volunteers saves the House tens of thousands of dollars annually in landscaping, repair, marketing, and other staff costs.  If we had to pay for these services, we would be in an impossible situation, given our other growing costs and stagnant income.

So, why do I tell you all this?  Because we can always use more Jims, more Brians, more Bobs, and more Ritas.  Do you have an interest in serving the House, and a skill that could be put to good use?  Then I’d like to hear from you—drop me a line at dgermain@kiwanisfamilyhouse.org or call me at 916.736.0116 and let’s talk.

 

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