Last weekend my fiancé and I hosted his uncle and aunt at our house for a delicious family dinner. Sitting around after the meal, comfortably full in the glow of the living room lamps, my fiance’s uncle told me about his new project: Books to the People is a free, nonprofit roving book mobile, handing out low-cost books to poor and underserved people in his area.
“What a great idea!” I exclaimed. Any grassroots nonprofit project like this is bound to bring out my (not-so-inner) geek.
“Yeah, but we really need some volunteers,” he said. “We’ve been having a lot of trouble finding the help we need.”
Without a word, I got up and left the room, returning moments later with one of my business cards.
“What’s this?” he asked
“It’s what I do,” I said.
As I explained to him about VolunteerMatch, about how any organization can use our technology to connect with volunteers, how it’s all free, how many nonprofits we work with (over 88,000 and growing), and the free trainings and resources we offer, I actually saw his eyes get a bit rounder with joyful disbelief.
“I didn’t know an organization like you existed for us!” he said.
And now he does. And in that moment, I was so proud – of him, for the amazing work he’s doing to help his community. I was also immensely proud of VolunteerMatch, for being the organization we are that provides these much-needed free services to nonprofits all over the country.
Moments like these, no matter how often they occur, invigorate me. They re-inspire me by reminding me how important our work is, and by showing me how much more work we still have to do.
I think finding things that re-inspire us is a critical part of doing social good work. Periodically we need to be shown a concrete ‘why’ behind our day-to-day challenges.
For me, re-inspiration comes from that moment of discovery, whether with family, friends or strangers on the street, when a nonprofit who thought they were all alone in the world realizes that VolunteerMatch is on their side.
Shari led Online Marketing and Communications at VolunteerMatch from 2010-2015. After working with nonprofits for 9 years, she moved over to the corporate sector and is now leading Inbound Marketing for a tech company in San Francisco.