Helping Hands – Volunteering in Today’s World

Over the years I’ve been involved in a number of not-for-profit organizations.  Rotary, Lions Club, Job’s Daughters, Scouting, musical organizations, political organizations, and a rock club (I’m sure there are more but they don’t currently come to mind).  Over time, they all come down to some type of political/power struggle.  I volunteer to do something, and later on wonder what was I thinking?

I was thinking I want to help.  I want to assist their progress in some way.  I want to see them succeed. How can I help?  With my take-charge personality I end up the chairman, the president, the leader.  I find myself pulling away from those decisions more and more.  Would I be Secretary of the Rock Club. No thanks.  How about the Membership Coordinator? Grant Writer? Publicity Chairperson?  NO, NO and NO.   I’ll help where I can, but I don’t want the board meetings, the distraction to creating, the politics.

So how can I help?

I’ve been knitting for years.  As my little sign says, “knitting keeps me from unraveling”.  I can create something useful and keep hands busy.  I’m a much nicer passenger when I knit and don’t watch Tracy drive.  I’ve gifted hundreds of blankets over the years both knit and crochet.  I’ve taught both my youngest daughter and grand-daughter how to knit and they also have “busy hands”.  So what do we do with all that stuff?

When we had our art/gift gallery we sold well over 100 scarves to travelers looking for something useful to offer that would remind them of their trip.  Grandmothers love the scarves as gifts for grandkids.  And some locals bought them on a regular basis as gifts and for their own families. But now that the store is closed what happens to them?

One day on Facebook an ad showed up for an organization called “Operation Gratitude”. They provide “Care Boxes” for our active military, veterans, first responders, and wounded warriors.  They take only scarves made of acrylic fibers – check;  4-6” wide – check; in masculine colors – check.  If you go to their website you can download their donation form to see all the other ways you can help.  They recently had a “service day” at their base of operation in California and created 3,000 “care boxes” for the first responders in Dallas.  This is an organization I want to give to.

I’ve put together a box of scarves with the labels as requested and will send them off this next week.  They also ask for letters to the care box recipients.  It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what to say, and how I might help take their mind off where they are.  I wrote a letter using pictures from our previous time in the heart of the Grand Staircare Escalante National Monument.  I hope it will give them something else to think about.

It also reminded me to add their service as volunteers to my gratitude journal.  I’m grateful they believe our freedoms are worth fighting for. My grandmother, mother, father, and 1st husband all volunteered for the Marine Corps.  They each had their own reason for that service, and each contributed in a unique way.  They wanted to help in some way.  I guess it’s in my blood.

Until next time – – –

 

Writing Life Stories – A Book Review

Bill Roorbachs Book

I’ve read a lot of books on writing, but none that has helped me as much as Bill Roorbach’s “Writing Life Stories”, and I’ve only just begun reading it.

Early on, like No. 3, is a section on map-making that spoke to my visual side. He suggested you “make a map of the earliest neighborhood you can remember”, and then describe it. Use details, sights, smells, sounds, etc and see what pops up. It was an incredible experience. And allowed me to write about the house my dad built when I was 4-5 years old. The memories were wonderful and laid the groundwork for many others I had long since forgotten about.

Then I went digging for images that matched those memories and they made for a wonderful family story that is not just verbal. Do try it and do read his book. I’m grateful he took the time to write it and I’m glad Writer’s Digest recommended it.

Until next time.

10 Stacks doesn’t stack up. 2/8/2015 My Review

10 Stacks To Success: How to Achieve Success One Goal at a Time by Jerome Jay Isip

I was intrigued by the title and Mission of this book. I had hoped it would enlighten me on the mindset of the Millennia’s and what motivates them. If you’re going to be in the retail market you need to understand your buyers. After I acquired it I couldn’t decide what market he was writing for. 10 stacks #1

The mission statement was intriguing, but the language was unnecessary. He indentified 10 steps (what he called stacks) to having a beautiful life. I was curious how they might differ from mine and other generations.

It was a disappointment, to say the least. He may be speaking to a target market of younger, less educated and lost souls, but it certainly wasn’t a generation I know. It might get read at a public library, but the language would probably keep it from being offered. 10 stacks # 2

And for me, he lost me at stack 4 (Dream a Little Dream). His primary question was “What do you want from this world? I don’t want anything from this world – it should be what can I give to this world this week? How can I make a difference?10 stacks #3

His opening quote should have made it clear where he was going and the attitude of the writing. Hopefully, for his sake, his target market can relate to him. I could not.

Save your money and time for a book that is more worthy than this one.

Until next time – – –

Going Forward

For the last 2+ years I’ve wanted to focus my efforts on reading, writing, and blogging. I tried to do that last winter, but realized as long as our retail brick and mortar Gallery is open there’s just no time to do that too. I would have to wait until either the store sold, or we decided to retire and close it.

Well, at long last, we’re about to close. We’re now 91 days away from closing Gallery Escalante. The projected sales during that time will give us the means to pay everything off, and pay the absolute minimum expenses for the next year or until the building sells or is leased. During the process of deciding when to close, my husband Tracy realized he’s ready for a new focus as well. He’s been doing professional photography for over 15 years and is ready for a new path. The one he’s chosen goes with my jewelry business – he’s going to expand his Sandstone Jewelry business and do mostly wholesale. He’ll produce some very special pieces for me to use and the rest will go out as wholesale. A very exciting time for us both.

All things being equal, I’ll post a notice on Goodreads when I’m available for Beta Reads again. I enjoyed that adventure last winter, but found I really needed to put aside more time for the author to ask questions and go back and forth before I started reading someone else’s work. It was a great experience and I learned a lot from some wonderful authors. I look forward to being allowed to share their passion again.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing on my blog, my jewelry blog and helping some very good friends establish their weblog for a business adventure. Those efforts and closing the store should keep me out of trouble. And if there’s any time left I’ll keep building creative and unique jewelry pieces which you can see at www.copperraven.com.

Garfield County School District, UT – Usage Fees run amuck!!!

When school districts forget about people and become just another government agency they need reminders like this.  I wrote this at the request of Jason Porter.  I hope it helps.
Garfield County School District
Superintendent: ben.dalton@garfk12.org
cc:  Business Administrator: kevin.orton@garfk12.org
cc:  School Board Rep: kenp@scinternet.net
 
I salute you in your efforts to standardize the building rental policy and procedures in an attempt to obtain fairness and equality.  That works in urban districts where the environments are equal.  It does not work in districts with isolated communities.
 
Small rural districts have unique challenges because of limited resources, volunteers and funding.  This requires partnerships with cities, businesses, and volunteers.  Escalante has always stepped up to those challenges.
 
When Fire Station #1 was built in Town Center Park it displaced the “ball park”.  The school district partnered with the volunteers and allowed unused and undeveloped property to be developed for the purpose of a “ball park” for the bantom league.  There was, to my knowledge, no discussion about fees, etc.,  it was a community effort.  When Potato Valley Lions Club donated $750 for materials to build the dugouts, there was no discussion of usage fees.  When the business community donated  time and equipment to level the field, install fencing, and grade an access road, there was no mention of fees.  And when efforts by members of various organizations helped the district lay water pipe for irrigation water, they didn’t ask to get paid.
 
I believe you need to revisit your decision regarding the excessive, on-going fees that are being proposed for use of the “community field”.  Liability insurance needs to be provided by those using the field, but in good faith the school board needs, in my opinion, to recognize the hundreds of dollars of in-kind work and other funds and allow use of the field by the bantom program for a set amount of time without additional fees.  It should not be forever, but it should be fair.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Jana Hassett,
Past President – Potato Valley Lions Club
Escalante Business Owner