Volunteering for the Community
One of my favorite stories was told by the former head of the DC Condo Association. He related how when he moved into his condo he highly objected to what he considered exhorbitant fees to use the service elevator. What he did about this, however, was telling. He joined the board and worked to make the fees more fair.
More and more communities are being set up with the Association model. Now, it is nearly impossible to buy a newer home in Fairfax without an Association being attached to it. This makes sense from the politician's viewpoint; we get taxed as if the County provided us with all the services (roads, sidewalks, snow removal, police coverage) yet many of these services are provided at our own expense (through association fees) and efforts.
The Association, no matter what its management structure, depends upon the hard work of volunteers to function. When one moves into an association, they should not plan on taking a free ride on their neighbor's efforts or think that some sort of fairy godmother is going to wave her wand and make things happen. Instead, they should plan to volunteer to help with this great experiment in grass roots democracy. Often there will be things that prevent one from volunteering for short periods of time (travel, school on top of work, etc.); this is understandable, but the thought should be in back of your mind that when things ease up you will volunteer.
There are more excuses than one can shake a stick at that people use not to volunteer. It really all boils down to one thing, however. They don't care enough to help out. They are comfortable letting others carry their load for them. They would rather criticize than solve. It is so simple to think you know best how to communicate, contract, or do other myriad tasks if your theories are never put to test. You are never wrong.
Here are some positives about volunteering:
- Studies have shown that those who volunteer are healthier than their counterparts that do not.
- You are protecting your quality of life in Leewood
- You are protecting your property values in Leewood
- You get to help people so their life will be better
- You are part of the solution, not part of the problem
- If you are interested in political science, it is a fascinating study in how democracy really works. You definitely appreciate your local leaders more!
Leewood has so many opportunities for you. If you have a schedule such that you never know when you will be available, carve out projects that you can do on your own time. If you don't care for meetings -- you are not alone, there are very few meetings involved in any of the volunteer positions in Leewood.
Think of what you want to do, what your strengths are, and volunteer!
If you wish to volunteer, please fill out the following form: