Each year, the Santa Clara County Emergency Managers Association honors individuals who volunteer their time to serve the communities in which they live. I was pleasantly surprised when Chris Godley, the Director of the Office of Emergency Services for the City of San Jose (CA), told me that I’d been nominated to receive this award.
The awards banquet was held on Dec 20, 2012 at the Three Flames Restaurant in San Jose, CA. Each volunteer was introduced by his or her city’s Emergency Manager and as I listened to the introductions what impressed me was the scope of everyone’s contributions. No task was too small or unimportant and conversely, no project was too large and daunting to be taken on. In some cases, volunteers had special skills that the agency needed but didn’t have; in other cases volunteers performed routine duties and in doing so freed up someone else’s time to do other work.
I also took a moment to reflect on why I like volunteering:
- I can set my own schedule
- I get to choose what projects I work on
- I have the freedom to use all my skills and knowledge
- I have the opportunity to learn new skills and gain more knowledge
- I have the chance to make a difference
- I’m appreciated for the work that I do
I feel very honored to be the recipient of the 2012 Volunteer of the Year for the City of San Jose. It’s been a very rewarding experience and I have no plans to slow down in 2013. If you’ve ever considered becoming a volunteer, I’d encourage you to give it a try.