On May 8th, Kraus-Anderson Construction graciously sponsored our wide array of panelists and delicious Blackwoods meal. Speaking on behalf of their expertise was Adam Sundberg from COGGS, Valerie Clark from Goodwill Duluth, Liz Pawlik from the United Way, and John Scott from DSGW Architects.
Beginning by describing what ignited their passion for volunteering, Scott summed it up best when he said, “… you had a purpose and a need.” As an individual you have a purpose in life, it may be your career, it may be your family, but it may lie outside of that and could be volunteering. Once you can identify your purpose, you have a need to fulfill your purpose. These feelings and callings can ignite your passion for volunteering, whether you know you have it or not.
The panelists were asked how to find the right volunteer position. What resources do they use to discover new opportunities or what resources are available to help capitalize on an idea for a new opportunity. Pawlik identified the Volunteer Center website (www.volunteerduluth.org) as a comprehensive list of opportunities, organizations, or events happening in Duluth.
The panelists reflected that once they found their passion, they needed to find the right balance between work, personal, and volunteering. Scott found that if he participated in activities that didn’t compromise his work but supplemented his life, they were the right activities for him. Clark mentioned that her passion led her to make volunteering her career, by working for Goodwill Duluth, she can balance her personal life with her passion for her career and her dedication to giving back.
An audience member asked if the panelists are seeing a trend toward increased volunteerism or decreased participation, in Duluth. Pawlik summarized by saying the trend seems to be for that one-day, one-time, feel-good opportunity. Participants want to do something good but are satisfied after an 8-hour day. While there are needs for all types of volunteers, the individuals that have the passion to become a long-term, devoted volunteer are the individuals that keep organizations and non-profits alive.
At Fuse Duluth, we believe that those long-term, devoted volunteers are the individuals that also keep Duluth alive. To help ignite the passion for volunteering and giving back, Fuse Duluth has formed a Volunteer Focus Committee. Their aim is to provide opportunities for Fuse members to dip their toes in the volunteer pool, before jumping head first.
For our first activity, Fuse has formed a team of people to help participate in the United Way Day of Caring. On June 25th, members will be gathering from 8AM to 12PM at the Depot, to help clean the train tracks and the lake walk. If you are interested in getting involved or in learning more about the event, please contact Fuse Director Martha Bremer or Volunteer Focus Chair Rachel Malone.
Fuse Duluth Leadership Council