From the President’s Desk
Neighbors helping neighbors. It’s what you did in my day.
I grew up in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch County in the late 50’s in the small rural town of Paradise, Pennsylvania.
Our main claim to fame was the founder of Park Seed Company, George Watt Park, who ran his seed business from 1902 to around 1920 in what was then LaPark and is now Paradise, Pennsylvania.
After the seed mill was destroyed in a fire around 1920 the seed business was eventually relocated to Greenwood, SC where it continues to operate to this day.
The three story Park Mansion is all that remains of the Park Empire in Paradise, Pennsylvania.
I grew up on 25 LaPark Avenue just a short distance from the Park Mansion. In fact, Park Seed employees built the six homes on LaPark Avenue. Each 2 story A-frame home was built the same with a kitchen area and living room on the first floor and 3 bedrooms on the second floor. We didn’t have a well but a cistern that collected rainwater and a hand pump above the cistern to draw water which we used for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. All the homes had an outhouse in the back as indoor bathrooms didn’t become popular until after the 1930’s; I was 11 years old when we had indoor plumbing installed.
We lived in an economically depressed neighborhood. We didn’t have much growing up but neither did our neighbors. We all pulled together to help each other whenever we could. We weren’t related by blood but we were related by location and circumstance. We enjoyed each other’s company and made of the best of times we had together.
Today I find myself in a new neighborhood called the SayWhatClub®. My new neighborhood spreads across various states and around the globe. I have made many wonderful friends in the SWC and continue to increase that great circle of friends every year.
Each and every year I am loving this new neighborhood even more. Our hearing loss has brought us together and my SWC family means the world to me.
The SWC just celebrated its 20th Anniversary this past December and I want to do whatever I can to insure that we will be around for another 20 years.
Neighbors helping neighbors is still important in this day and age and especially with the SayWhatClub®.
We need your help in big ways and small ways to help us continue to reach out to others with hearing loss that haven’t heard about the SWC family but are searching for a connection to others that understand their challenges in today’s world.
Two of my favorite quotes are from Helen Keller (a deaf-blind American author and lecturer 1880 – 1968),
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
It is my hope and desire that 2018 will be the year of accomplishments and it’s sure starting out that way!
- The new web site is up and running and more and more people are finding out about the SayWhatClub® and what it can do for them.
- We are fielding many requests for information about the SWC from our Web site.
- Many people are reading our blog entries on the web site as well.
- Quite a few first time attendees have registered to attend the 2018 SWC St. Paul Convention in August.
- Our Board of Directors are putting in many volunteer hours to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
- Our Committees are reaching out to help current subscribers and potential subscribers who are looking to connect with an organization like the SayWhatClub® and finally found that connection.
- Facebook has been a boom for people finding out about us.
- Our first Fundraiser in the fall was a huge success.
- The fundraising team is developing tools and processes to help us be more effective and efficient.
- Our board members are developing handbooks and online training sessions to help our all volunteer organization grow and develop.
- We are developing tools and processes to help us be more effective and efficient.
- We have started using collaboration software to help us work better as a team and be more effective and efficient.
We need YOUR help, please.
Like many nonprofits, we are always in need of volunteers.
Please consider being a volunteer for the SayWhatClub® in big and small ways.
A volunteer is giving up the greatest commodity they have to offer, their personal time.
Why do people volunteer? People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
How does volunteer work benefit you?
- Gain confidence.
- Make a difference.
- Meet people. Volunteering can help you meet different kinds of people and make new friends.
- Be part of a community.
- Learn new skills.
- Take on a challenge.
- Have fun!
How do I treat volunteers?
- Show respect. Arguably the most important aspect of managing volunteers happy is to show them respect. Treat others the way you want them to treat you. Lead by example.
- Communicate. In addition to email, we now have posts, chats, and are developing a learning library.
- Have an open door policy. Please feel free to email me, Don Dippner, at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and concerns. I will do my very best to respond to your email within 24-48 hours.
- Find common goals. We need to work together and help one another.
- Recognize achievement. I plan on doing my best to let you know your efforts are seen and are appreciated. I want to let you know regularly that ALL of our committees and ALL of our volunteers are as asset to the SWC and highly valued. Without YOU we would not have a SayWhatClub®.
- Build team spirit. We are in this together and we will make great strides in the years ahead and we will also fall short in some of our endeavors, but I will never give up trying to improve and to learn from past mistakes. I don’t believe in failure; I do believe in learning from what doesn’t work.
- Encourage development and training. We are working on a couple of different ways to help our volunteers know what is expected of them, teach them how to best carry out their duties, develop new and better ways, and have fun in the process.
- Accommodate. I will work with you to help you make the best use of your volunteer time. I understand that we all have lives outside of the SayWhatClub®, myself included, and it’s often a balancing act of finding time for yourself and your family and finding time for the SayWhatClub®.
In conclusion, “Neighbors helping Neighbors” has always been a part of my life. I don’t know how not to help others when I can do so. We have a lot of work ahead of us to keep the SayWhatClub® going strong for another 20 years and more. I know in my heart we can work together, grow together, and help one another. Reaching out and helping others is why the SayWhatClub® was founded all those years ago.
Now I am asking you to join me and help me to reach countless others in the hearing loss community that are looking for a friend; someone who understands, someone who cares, and someone who will make a difference in the lives of others.
Are you that someone I am looking for?
If so, please contact me at: email@example.com sometime this week.
Thank you for your time,
We are an all-volunteer organization and have been around for over 20 years.
Please consider making a tax deductible donation to:
We are also registered with AmazonSmile. When you sign into Amazon using the AmazonSmile link Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to the SayWhatClub at no cost to you.
Here’s the direct link to our AmazonSmile account: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1875174
Thank you for your donations.