A Fresh Start
I don't know what the holidays are like for you, but for me, besides being filled with family, food, and good cheer, they are filled with efforts to give back—to those in need and to my community in general.
Because of my role at Reliant, the effect that volunteerism and giving back have on credit unions is on my mind year-round. Credit unions depend on dedicated volunteers to serve on our Boards of Directors and Supervisory Committees, and we also look for volunteers to help with other events and projects. I believe that over time, trying to replace committees with volunteers will be increasingly difficult. And my thoughts and observations aren’t exclusive to the credit union—I feel a shift with volunteering and in communities in general.
All of that being said, I don’t think that shift has to be permanent. Today, in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I’m hopeful that we can work together to reverse the trend!
As I was growing up, my parents were involved in everything. They were always volunteering their time, which never ceased to amaze me—they gave so much of themselves, all while raising 12 kids! I know times are changing, and we’re all pulled in so many different directions that maybe we haven’t even had a moment to sit back and think about volunteering our time.
My message today is really meant to plant the seed. I want our members to be thinking about how they can find time to give back to their communities. If you don’t volunteer or haven’t really thought about it, the beginning of a new year is a great time to start!
If you need ideas of where to start, from my experience, volunteerism is driven by passion. What are you passionate about? If you’re passionate about the cooperative, member-owned spirit of the credit union, we’d love it if you’d consider signing up for our volunteer program! If you’re a student or a parent of a student, we hope you’ll think of Reliant when the time comes to fulfill your school volunteer hours.
No matter what moves or inspires you, I think there are small ways to get involved in organizations and dedicate some of your time—and sometimes getting your foot in the door opens up greater opportunities down the road!
Happy New Year, and I hope we’ll see you at a branch or event soon!