I am honored to be the new president of the Village. At the same time, I’m a bit scared, because I can’t succeed in my new volunteer role without your help – right now.
For nearly 40 years, I worked as a journalist -- first as a reporter, then editor, then publisher and news service manager. I relied on a team of hundreds of people who edited stories, took photos, created news graphics, ran the printing presses, designed the websites, and sold advertising to make sure everybody got a paycheck every two weeks.
Just like any organization, Foggy Bottom West End Village is a team, and the Village is extremely fortunate to have a team of dedicated and skilled volunteers. There are people who provide services – such as rides to the doctor, physical therapist, or supermarket; help with household needs like packing books and sorting old clothes; plan fun lunches, happy hours and cultural excursions; provide administrative assistance in the office; and work on Village fund-raising projects. And there are Villagers who rely on these services, either to recover from illness or deal with disability, or to connect more closely to their neighbors and enjoy life.
As part of a news organization, I knew that other team members would show up and do their jobs, in part because they loved the work, but also because of the paycheck. With the Village, instead of a paycheck, the reward for volunteers comes in the form of fulfillment and the joy of helping others. As we work on Village tasks, we are building a strong community that benefits all of us.
Our Village is growing and expanding its reach, and we need more volunteers. Today, right now, we urgently need people with cars and valid driver’s licenses to drive their neighbors, Village members, to medical appointments and shopping trips.
If you can help, or know someone else who can be a volunteer driver, or would like to hear more, please call Executive Director Leigh Sempeles at 202.333.1327 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will explain this simple process and sign you up.
Village volunteering fits easily into most of our days. It’s very much like picking your kids up from school, taking grandchildren to soccer practice, or dropping a friend at the movie theater. Our goal is to provide a meaningful volunteer experience.
We are asking for volunteers to contribute three or four hours a month. That's not much time to bring some sense of security to our neighbors during times when they need it most.
Drivers, please call today.
Everybody, watch this space in the coming months for occasional notes on how you can help the Village help you.