2020-2021 National Auxiliary Community Outreach Ambassador
Outreach (verb) outreached; outreaching; outreaches
1a: to surpass in reach
b: EXCEED the demand outreaches the supply
2: to get the better of by trickery
1: to go too far 2: to reach out
1: the act of reaching out 2: the extent or limit of reach 3: the extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits an outreach program also: the extent of such services or assistance
Outreach is defined as reaching out to others or becoming involved in a community or effort.
When an organization reaches out to citizens in a community to help them find food and shelter, this is an example of outreach. The act or practice of visiting and providing the services (of a charity or other organization) to people who might not otherwise have access to those services. It is a side benefit of the experience. Service learning, as the name implies, involves a classroom learning component in addition to volunteering. Ultimately, learning is the goal of service learning. Volunteering is rewarding and valuable, but it is an education method above all else.
“I am very excited about our new Program, Auxiliary Community Outreach. Please understand it is not the old Community Service Program. For better clarification, allow me to share exactly what the Program is: It’s when a member or group of Auxiliary members volunteer hours with another organization or entity. It is not donations, but time. As members, we must be wearing Auxiliary clothing – hats, shirt or name badges when performing this volunteer service. We are reaching into our communities and reminding them that we have been volunteering for more than a century now.” – Sandi Onstwedder, National President VFW Auxiliary, November 2020 VFW Auxiliary Magazine
Knowing that COVID-19 has limited our efforts due to restrictions, social distancing, etc., I’d like to share information from promotional information that has been received.
Kelly Durkee-Erwin, Department of Massachusetts Auxiliary Community Outreach Chairman shared the following:
COVID-19 fatigue is upon us. And, COVID-19 cases have risen. So, how do we achieve Auxiliary Community Outreach objective safely from home? As National Auxiliary Community Outreach Program Ambassador Diane Pencak reminds us -“You have two hands, one to help yourself, the second to help others.”
First – there are HEALTH benefits to volunteering! (Who knew?)
- Volunteering keeps you physically and mentally active, and helps you live longer.
- Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress and depression.
- Volunteering boosts your self-confidence and gives you a sense of purpose.
- Volunteering helps you meet likeminded others and boost your social skills.
- Volunteering is particularly beneficial to people with chronic diseases.
Ann Batson, Department of Florida Auxiliary Community Outreach Chairman shared the following:
Points to Remember:
- Your volunteering must be service outside of your Post or Auxiliary.
- Be sure what you do gets recognized in the minutes of your Auxiliary.
- Helping other organizations in your community is a great thing.
- This is volunteering, not monetary donations.
- You must wear an Auxiliary shirt, hat, pin, etc. to show who you are.
- Report the hours volunteered and the number of members that participated.
- Projects must be approved in advance by the members.
- Doing Auxiliary Community Outreach is a means to be visible in your city.
- Remember it’s all about service.
- Be creative in volunteering and try to help in as many areas as possible.
Thank you to Kelly and Ann for sharing the above information.
To volunteer is to give of yourself in service to a cause. It is about freely giving your time to help an organization, your community, or an individual. To volunteer means to act on behalf of something or someone else. It is done by people with a desire to do good. It is done willingly – by choice.
Since 1914, the VFW Auxiliary has been committed to serve the veterans of this country and our communities in honor of the sacrifices and commitment of every man and woman who has served in uniform. Being the one of the nation’s oldest veterans’ service organizations we have for years ventured outside of our CORE Programs in volunteering in our local communities. With this years’ new Program (Auxiliary Community Outreach) we are volunteering on NON-CORE projects within our communities on our own and/or with another organization or entity. The Community Outreach Program now gives us an avenue to report the number of member(s) and total hour(s) volunteering on these Non-Core programs/projects. It is about service, time and volunteering.
‘Tis the season to partner with other local organizations or entities (Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis, American Legion, Elks Club, Moose Club, Lions Club to name a few) for an Auxiliary Community Outreach project!
Here are some ideas for the upcoming holiday season:
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen – Get a group together and serve a meal, bus tables or clean up at a local soup kitchen.
- Volunteer at the local meal/toy distribution – Help the less fortunate in your community this holiday season. There are many volunteer opportunities at community distribution events including traffic control, customer/client check-in, shopping assistant, check-out and more.
- Volunteer at the local animal shelter – This is a fun way to volunteer as a family, especially if you have animal lovers in the house. Call the local animal shelter and offer to play with the animals, go on a walk, clean out cages or take pictures to post online to help the animals get adopted.
- Spruce Up the Environment – Show your Mother Earth some love on Turkey Day! Bundle up and head outside to a park, stream or natural area that could use some cleaning up. Spend the day with friends and family under the sun making the environment smile.
In closing, I am sharing this quote with you. “If it does not challenge you. It won’t change you.” Anonymous. The challenge of this new Program is to get it right. THANK YOU for your questions to help us fine tune this Program so it runs with ease moving forward. THANK YOU for helping us explain the requirements and what can be reported. It is about selflessness, of your time, service, acts of kindness, growing visibility within your local community and working with and partnering with other organizations or entities to accomplish CommUNITY Outreach.
Wishing you the gifts of the season…thanksgiving, peace, joy and hope.