The focus of this month’s Ally is on volunteers and the important role they play in making a positive difference for children, families, and communities. There is no greater example of the importance and impact of volunteers than what is currently happening in the aftermath of the horrendous tornadoes that recently impacted our state.
Whether it be formal efforts coordinated by organizations whose mission is to respond to disasters or individual neighbors helping neighbors, the response by volunteers is a fundamental component of the search, rescue, and recovery efforts during crisis situations. The impact volunteers have goes well beyond the physical clean-up and relief effort. It also includes the comfort given to children and families through kind words and hugs, smiles in recognition of the struggle to cope, and the caring nods acknowledging the pain others are feeling. Volunteers, particularly in times of crisis, help with recovery efforts, but they also help us maintain equilibrium and remind us of all the goodness that comes from caring!
Thank you to those volunteering, and thanks to all the nonprofit organizations that recognize and celebrate the importance of volunteering!
It is somewhat serendipitous this issue of The Ally is focused on volunteering because as you know I am retiring from my position as Executive Director of the MS Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy. Given that, I will be focusing more on my own volunteer commitments and look forward to engaging more robustly with fellow volunteers in activities contributing to children and family well-being. Of course, my commitment to working with nonprofit and philanthropic organizations as a volunteer will be front and center as well.
I leave the Alliance with the same firm belief we started with – philanthropy and nonprofits are stronger when they work together on the planning, design, and implementation of efforts that make a positive difference. The era of “siloed relationships and power-driven communications” must continue to be challenged and diminished. We can indeed do more together than separately.
Thank you all for the opportunity to work with you to strengthen the incredibly important work you are doing. It has been an honor, and I will forever be grateful for the experience.
Words I always like to end with at any engagement…now, go forth and do good!
All the best, Sammy
The Alliance enters this season of reflection and gratitude, deeply appreciative of the support from our many members, supporters, and friends.
The Phil Hardin Foundation in Meridian was chartered in 1964 with the charge to “improve the education of Mississippians.” For nearly six decades, we have strived to be a catalyst for educational opportunity and community improvement in Mississippi through innovative leadership and productive partnerships.
This summer, I joined thought leaders from Mississippi and across the country in the FutureGood Studio’s futurism training program. It was transformational. This experience redefined my outlook, both professionally as a nonprofit leader and on a personal level. It fundamentally altered the way I approach work and staff engagement and envision the future for both myself and the clients we serve.