Do you ever get that overwhelming wave of motivation? Where you leave a place/meeting/event feeling so alive for the cause? This is the feeling I walk away with each and every time I get together with one particular group of individuals…
I just attended the Annual General Meeting for our Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter in Barrie and Simcoe County. I walked in there knowing full well that I would be saying goodbye to the board position that I have held as Director of Youth and Education for the past four years (max term allowed to be served in the same board position). I was sad. Even though I have had a significant decrease in my participation since the arrival of my lovely little Lilly, I still feel a strong tie to the anti-impaired driving movement and to the people that make up our local MADD chapter.
I have been involved in the fight against impaired driving since I was 12 years old…yes, add that to the long list you read in my first post about me…It started out when I joined the OSAID (Ont. Students Against Impaired Driving) chapter at my jr/high school. I continued my involvement throughout high school and even ran the chapter for grade 11, 12 and OAC. I might add those were three of the chapters most successful years! I had attended the local MADD chapter as well and worked on bridging the gap between the Youth and Adult sections of this cause.
It was this connection that motivated me to seek out the local chapter after college and get re-engaged. MADD Barrie/Simcoe welcomed me with open arms and was incredibly grateful for my strong connection to OSAID and willingness to go directly into schools and work with Youth. I truly loved my position. It was as if there are two different groups, speaking very different languages (teen-speak vs parent-talk) and I was a translator It was because of all this that I was very sad to see the end to my board term.
I thought this would be it, I would move on and just become a regular volunteer for the time being. However, while doing our voting for the new positions, I realized we were going to be short a Director At Large…my hand shot up. I was powerless to stop myself. I have gotten to know this group of highly dedicated, caring and wonderful people and I can’t imagine not being around them in a stronger capacity. They, Jason (now past pres), Sari (new pres), Kim (prev. past pres and all around chapter queen), and so many others, make you want to be there. Only a few members have been personally affected, while the rest of us simply want to help bring about change. Tireless hours and hard work are put in to ensure that the message is getting across. It is NOT ok to drink and drive. You CAN KILL someone, or ruin them/their family’s life forever.
As I looked around the room from my new spot back at the head table, I can see Sari so happy that I stepped back onto board and with so many other new, eager and equally passionate board members, and I know that this is something I will ALWAYS be a part of.
Ideally speaking, this is how all organizations should make volunteers feel.