By: Liz Jones, Community Networking Coordinator, HandsOn Twin Cities
“A better Minnesota for all of us, depends upon all of us”-Governor Mark Dayton
Last week, Mark Dayton was sworn in as Governor of Minnesota. As part of his plan to bring Minnesota’s economic situation back to being one of prosperity, he challenged residents to volunteer their time, “I ask every adult Minnesotan, who is physically able, to volunteer a part of one day, every month, at a school, hospital, or social service agency.”
Upon hearing this call to action, the question most frequently posed was, “Is it possible?”
Simply saying, “Yes,” is not so simple. The opportunities and resources are definitely available to be taken advantage of, but it is up to individuals to do so and make it possible for themselves.
That said, even in this time of economic uncertainty and busy schedules, there are still ways to get involved and make a difference. Our Executive Director, here at HandsOn Twin Cities, Kristin Schurrer, was quoted in the Star Tribune in regards to this issue, “Not everyone can commit to a year, but you can go to a school and just read to children. You can pass out a flier to collect for a food shelf. It all counts.”
It definitely does all count; and all types of volunteering are necessary. If you look at our database or calendar of volunteer opportunities at local nonprofits, there are both ongoing and one-time volunteer projects that are in need of volunteers.
Kristin also replied to comments on the article that deemed volunteering to be more demanding than what the Governor called for, “many of today’s volunteer jobs are much more demanding than ‘part of one day, every month,’ and for those people that are able, please consider making this commitment. It is very rewarding. But, one time and episodic volunteer opportunities are often just as important.”
Those who are part of organizations that rely on volunteers know that people are busy, because so are they, which is why they are willing to work with individuals to find out what works best for them. “I believe that people should do what they can do when they can do it. That doesn’t mean that people have to make a major commitment to make a difference,” Kristin went on to say.
To sum it all up, Kristin made one final comment, “Volunteering is not ‘one size fits all,’ but there is an opportunity out there to make a difference that can fit everyone!”
Calls for individuals to serve their country via community involvement is nothing new, and have been prevalent in presidential campaigns of both major parties. The most recent, being by President Obama in June of 2009…
For more information on how you can get involved locally, please visit www.handsontwincities.org
For more information on the national “United We Serve” campaign, go to www.serve.gov