This three year anniversary mark for On Your Feet Project in Boston has made me wax nostalgic for a moment or three. Rarely do I stop during my often hectic days to reflect on why exactly I've volunteered with OYFP since its inception in Boston. I recall sitting in my apartment in Somerville with my roommates, bemoaning the fact that it was hard to find a place to volunteer that would reply to my inquiries, never mind one that would allow me to donate time at night or on weekends.
And that's when I came across OYFP's post on Idealist.org. "Sure," I thought. "I can head up PR, marketing, the website, and graphic design for a non-profit that's completely volunteer-run and just getting started in Boston."
I really didn't know what I was getting myself into.
Three years later, I've moved on from marketing, etc to the illustrious position of Co-Director. We've held over 30 events, ten of them in 2008 alone (and it's only August!). We've had two interns, three partners, and countless executive board members... but more importantly, we've made a difference.
Sometimes I catch myself wondering if what we're doing is actually impacting others. We don't have a department of people dedicated to quantifying our actions, measuring our success, or writing executive reports. Heck, we don't even have an office.
But I know we have made a difference, when I talk to our contacts at our partner organizations, when I meet families who have stayed with Christopher's Haven, when I volunteer to make crafts at the Italian Home with the kids, or when I simply reply to an email inquiry stating, "I'd like to volunteer." After all, our goal is to encourage a sense of volunteerism in our community, and everything from simple emails, talking to colleagues and strangers about OYFP, and even this blog, are helping to do that.
We want people to think about volunteering, and then act on it.
So. Show your support of OYFP, of volunteerism, of trying to make a difference, by coming to our anniversary party tonight. We're going to be celebrating our accomplishment, and hope you will be too.
Related Posts: OYFP turns Three, Let's Party!; OYFP joins the 21st Century; Our intern at OYFP Boston