DFW Without Volunteers

Dear DFW Member-Volunteers,

After coming off two three-day weekends with Dining for Women volunteers, I am more grateful than ever for what you do, how you think, and the impact you have on Dining for Women.  DFW is extremely reliant on volunteers and the thought of all our volunteers going on vacation for a month at the same time is frightening.  Fortunately, because I like to think positively, this will never, ever, ever happen.   Then a tiny voice in the middle of the night says, “Beth Ellen, wake up.  What IF DFW volunteers did NOT show up for a month? What would happen?”

To show you how valuable and necessary you, our volunteers are, let me take you on a trip though “DFW Without Volunteers”.

Inquiring potential members would be connected to a chapter near them within a year, but not sooner.  Chapters would not meet.  Chapter leaders would be left in the dark, staff would have little idea what the membership is thinking, our chapters would atrophy and drop off.  Programs would be chosen by our Program Director, essentially making her Queen of Programs. Members would not know if there was oversight or not.  We would not have educational materials.  Funds would never be raised.  The future of the organization would be developed in a vacuum.  Basically, DFW would be a no fun, unproductive dictatorship.

Fortunately, YOU have said YES.  YOU give thousands of hours to the cause. YOU make us say, “Thank goodness for our beautiful volunteers, you are the rainbows of our lives!”

You may be asking, what about staff?  Well, all of our senior directors manage committees and that is how we get all of our work done!  FORTUNATELY, we have over 700 volunteers from Chapter Leaders, Mentors and Regional Leaders to Board of Directors, committee members and everything in between.  This means we are COLLABORATIVE and hear the voices of our members and strive to make a bigger impact on the world.  This means that we are helping to TRANSFORM lives of women and girls in poverty in developing countries AND of our members.  We EDUCATE our members and grant recipients in ways that empower our women and girls to change the world.  But most of all, our volunteers INSPIRE all of us to do more and be more.

As we look forward to engaging our members and volunteers at a deeper level, we want to recognize and show our appreciation for our volunteers more, and we are working on that.  Our Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Liz Jones, (who is also a volunteer) is currently leading a committee that is working on recognition strategies and a budget as I write this!  (You guessed it – the committee is made up of more volunteers from across our organization!)

Also, we would like to find out more about your talents, your experience, and how you would like to help DFW grow.  Early next year, you will receive a survey asking you to tell us about yourself and how you would like to more deeply connect to DFW. This will help us to more easily find the volunteers we are seeking!

Volunteers make this organization run, and I am grateful every day for you, my volunteer friend.  I think I speak for all of us when I say, thank you for making this idea of Dining for Women work.

– Beth Ellen Holimon