Volunteer Orgs.

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L&L Corvairs
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Volunteer Orgs.

Post by L&L Corvairs »

I wrote an article for the latest version of the ASA newsletter. For space reasons, it had to be edited. (With my permission) For discussion purposes, I’m posting the full version.


Volunteer Organizations

Let me begin by saying that I’ve been involved in a volunteer organization to some extent, on and off (mostly on) for the last 18yrs. Usually in some type of leadership or management position. Beginning with PTA treasurer, then PTA president. Moving on to the Orange County ATV Association (OCATV) and now Board of Directors (second time around) of the ASA as both Treasurer and SSSS coordinator. Along with ‘other duties as assigned’.

Let me tell a little story about how I got ‘roped in’. At the elementary school my kids attended they had an annual event called ‘Father/daughter’ night, sponsored by the PTA. It was an awesome affair. It was catered. The cafeteria was decorated one end to the other. Music. Entertainment. Nothing seemed to be spared. Everyone had a great time. Impressive. Couldn’t wait for the next one. A few months later they put on their ‘Father/son’ night. Which was an unmitigated disaster. No food. No decorations. Entertainment was a joke. Disappointment didn’t begin to describe the feelings. As I was leaving this sordid spectacle, I voiced my opinion to the lady next to me. “How can the Father/daughter deal be so great and this be such a…a…a…. MESS.” Unfortunately for me, that lady just happened to be the current PTA president. At least she was polite as she enlightened me to the difficulties of running a volunteer organization. Here’s the deal, Mr. Know-it All:
The father/daughter event has a committee of about (7). It has a committee chair. It meets regularly from the beginning of the year right up to the event. Work is spread out amongst all the members so no one was over burdened. It has a post event meeting where next years event is discussed and pre-planning done. They promoted and trained from within, so when people moved on or got tired, someone else was trained and ready to take over. It runs its self and all the president and Board of Directors have to do is make sure they have the resources (that means $$$$, ) they needed. The father/son deal, on the other hand, had a committee chair person. And that’s all. One person. And she quit three weeks before the event. There was nobody else to take her place. No one to shift the work load over to. No one to ask. Nothing. So the president, (who was a working single mother) cobbled together what she could at the virtual last minute so the school had something. Now, faced with the prospect of putting up, or shutting up, and knowing that I can’t keep my mouth shut, I had to step up…. And… well….. here I am.
That brings me to the ASA. In theory, the ASA is supposed to run just like the PTA. With the major functions broken down to committees, with committee chairs and members and work spread around so no one person is over loaded. It’s so sad how far reality is from the theory. What amazes me is how much the ASA DOES get done with what little we have. And I’m not talking about dollars. I’m talking about people. Here’s a list of committee chair positions that are open: (order of importance, my opinion)

Volunteer Coordinator
AZ Event Coordinator
Legislative Affairs
News Letter
Business Sponsors
Fundraising
Website
Legal
(I’ve probably missed some)

And all of those committees need members. We need help in CA events in the San Diego area, too. At one time, I had almost as many people working for me as PTA president of my little elementary school as the ASA has working volunteers now. The ASA boasts over 35,0000 members, but we can’t get enough people to step up. But people will scream like Banshees flying up Olds when the ASA screws up.
Recently, as some of you may know, the California State Legislature passed AB 1595 that directly affects everyone who owns a SxS. The ASA was unaware of this until after the fact. There’s been a lot of finger pointing and blame placing/assigning as to why. Internally and externally. There is a public expectation of the ASA to know about these things and take steps to represent and protect our member’s interests. People pay their money and expect the ASA to ‘perform’. But what many fail to realize or remember is that the ASA is not some huge corporation. The couple of paid staff we have are overwhelmed. We scrape by because a couple of our BOD members are retired and devote 40+ (probably more) hours of their retirement to the ASA. The balance of the BOD members all have jobs, lives and responsibilities way beyond the ASA. And we are overwhelmed too. I didn’t sign on to be Treasurer. The work I signed up for was more then enough. But when the volunteer who was dong the job, very well, for many years, decided he’d had enough, and moved on, there was no one else to step up.
Would you like some numbers? We have (8) BOD members, all volunteers. We have (2) paid staff. And we have (2) committee chairs (volunteers) California Events Coordinator and Merchandize/Store Manager. That’s IT, in terms of leadership. Now, certainly we have many wonderful volunteers who assist us at our various events and fund raising endeavors, although a majority of those have been around too for 3+ years. I’m not saying they aren’t doing their part. They are. Fabulously. And many would gladly join a committee and take on more, if there was leadership for them to follow.
On AB 1595, the ASA dropped the ball. NO doubt. Part of that is because there are too many balls in the air and not enough jugglers.
My point is, we need help. We need YOUR help. We need some leader types to step up, grab those committee chairs, make them your own and make them function. If we’d had a Legislative Affairs coordinator and committee, AB 1595 just wouldn’t have happened. Or, if it did, it would have been legislation we could live with. AND, we’d of known about it way in advance.
All this may sound like I’m complaining. I’m not. Really. I’m pleading. I’m begging. I love my Glamis riding. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother. Most of us have lots of $$$ invested and families invested. The RAMP is coming. Soon, hopefully. When it does, the ASA is going to be swamped. We’ll probably need a Legal committee. We may need stuff we don’t even know about yet. And if WE, WE meaning not only the ASA but the OHV community, isn’t prepared, we may drop the ball again. We won’t have time or an opportunity to fix the barn door later. Notice I haven’t asked anyone for any money. I’m not asking for dime. I’m asking for something more precious. Your leadership. Your energy. Your passion for the dunes. Your TIME. If you can and are willing to help us, please, contact us. If you don’t get a response, contact me. Contact Nicole. Or Bob Mason. Keep at it until you get ‘roped in’. Help us make the ASA into the organization into (to steal a phrase) The Best it Can Be.

Lloyd Misner
Member, BOD American Sand Association
L&L
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It is only ours to decide what to do with the time given us.

Make the most of your time.

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Sloppyduner
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Re: Volunteer Orgs.

Post by Sloppyduner »

Gee Lloyd this is the best thing I ever read. I sure hope to be able to get back in the groove of things and get back and help out the best darn org I know of.

L&L Corvairs
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Re: Volunteer Orgs.

Post by L&L Corvairs »

Sloppyduner wrote:Gee Lloyd this is the best thing I ever read. I sure hope to be able to get back in the groove of things and get back and help out the best darn org I know of.
Thanks for your support.
L&L
It is not ours to decide the times in which we live.
It is only ours to decide what to do with the time given us.

Make the most of your time.

L&L Corvairs
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Re: Volunteer Orgs.

Post by L&L Corvairs »

I did something today I usually don’t do. I deleted some posts out of this thread. Maybe, I even owe an apology for that. However, this thread is not going to be about bashing the ASA or airing grievances. I fully support everyone’s right to beat up on the ASA. We are all big boys and girls and I know there are several people out there who do not like the ASA and/or are un-happy with how they were treated or perceived they were treated.
By all means, please, go start a separate thread and pound away. Your freedom of speech should not be abridged as long as you stay within the rules of the BBS. I will not be involved in that thread and will stay well and away. I do not care anymore, because, truthfully, I don’t have the time.

This next part may even sound a bit….harsh…it’s not meant to be. It’s a simple statement of the reality of the needs of the ASA and it is the extension of my first post that I’ve just now found the time to write.

Looking at the above, what I asked for was your leadership and your time. Not your suggestions, direction, complaints or ideas. I want your PARTICIPATION.

What does that mean? It means that when anyone approaches me and starts by saying “YOU should do ABC” or “YOU should be doing XYZ”…or “Why aren’t YOU doing DEF?”. I get glassy eyed. It’s not that these aren’t, in almost all cases, wonderful ideas, suggestions or projects. Many of these suggestions are perfectly correct and reasonable.
My first thought is WHO????? WHO is going to do it??? ‘Cause their ain’t nobody.
We don’t have oodles of staff sitting around with baited bored breath waiting for the next assignment. We just don’t have the people. Most of the core volunteers have been at it for a long time. They are already doing all they can do.

So.
Bring me your suggestions, ideas and projects. But start the sentence with “I”

“I want to do ABC project. This is how “I” will do it. These are the people “I” will bring to the table. These are the resources “I” need. This is the result “I” will get.
Anyone who comes at me with that approach will get my undivided attention. And probably a proposal before the BOD.

Also, you need to be prepared for the possible no. And not get your panties all in a wad about it. Not every project or suggestion will get approved. Things the ASA is not trying to do right now, may not be in the budget. They may not fit the mission statement or goals of the ASA. We aren’t in a position to do everything. We have to pick what’s best for the organization.

But if you look at my post above and are picking from that list and start out by saying..

“I” want to be your volunteer coordinator and this (insert explanation/qualification here) is why “I” will be successful…

“I” want to be your newsletter editor….etc..

You’ll find us all ears and will do our best to ‘rope you in’.


In one of the posts I deleted, the author complained that we ‘worked his ‘behind’ off”. In all likelihood, he’s probably correct. The reason isn’t because we’re a bunch of SOB’s. The reason is that there isn’t enough ‘behinds’ to work. The more people we have involved, the less work there is for everyone and it gets to be a lot more fun.
L&L
It is not ours to decide the times in which we live.
It is only ours to decide what to do with the time given us.

Make the most of your time.

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HSSC
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Re: Volunteer Orgs.

Post by HSSC »

Passion. I see major passion in this thread. My excuse is I'm 700 miles away and doing my best to pay the bills and continue on. I'm sure most are in the same boat.....doing their best to pay the bills. For me.....when you own something, you have to buy into the State Farm is there, line of bull dung. I pay a s**t load of insurance ( to support the leach democratic lawyers) and then there are taxes......
I don't get a check from the government. My free time is becoming harder and harder to come buy.

The working class is getting push to the edge. That is my take from this thread. Just beat your head against the wall a bit more..... ](*,)

Just close the place down and then people will wake up.........will it be too late.......probably so :cry:

I'm going to write another check to the ASA. Thank You. =D>
Public lands are for public use.
Ken & family
Mt. Rose HWY,Reno NV.

L&L Corvairs
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Re: Volunteer Orgs.

Post by L&L Corvairs »

HSSC wrote:My excuse is I'm 700 miles away and doing my best to pay the bills and continue on.
Agreed. And that's what makes it tough.

Thanks for the responce and support.
L&L
It is not ours to decide the times in which we live.
It is only ours to decide what to do with the time given us.

Make the most of your time.

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Washroad
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Re: Volunteer Orgs.

Post by Washroad »

I joined the ASA a long time ago...shortly after it was formed. I was just a regular ol' member, not involved at all except for reading this forum.

Then one day, I did something; I called a reporter for the Orange County Register and asked her to come to a beach party in Huntington Beach and meet with some members of the ASA. She did, took pics and they were on the front page! ****! That was easy, back about 12 years ago.....

So, I show up at the SSSS and volunteered all day for all 3 days. This one guy was watching me, made me kinda paranoid.

A few weeks after the 2001 SSSS, I got a call from the guy that was watching me. (Anyone remember Jim Colln????? =D> =D> :lol: :lol: ) Jim twisted my arm up behind my back and got me to agree to be the Coordinator for the SSSS the next year. I didn't even know he was twisting up there until I realized what I had agreed to do. :shock:

So, for the next several years, I coordinated all things ASA for the SSSS. I was really dammed lucky! I got an INCREDIBLE group of volunteers =D> =D> to form a committee and we worked so well together it was like a well-oiled machine.

And we had FUN!

Life situations changed for me and I had to drop out of the Coordinator position and I thought I never would do that, it was such an important part of my life and I truly miss it.

So, there's my story. I haven't always been a volunteer or gotten involved, but YOU CAN! Even if it's just an hour or two at the SSSS or any other event. Even if you want to do things "behind the scenes" there's stuff to do if you have a bit of time and it doesn't take a lot.

You'll feel all warm and fuzzy 'cause you did something good! :D You'll make some friends and have some fun! :D

So, step up when you can! :D
Brian
ex-SSSS Coordinator
aSa Supporting Member and VERY PROUD OF IT!!!
2007 Jerry R. Seaver Award
"Facts don't enter a world dominated by our beliefs." Proust
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azsandrider
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Re: Volunteer Orgs.

Post by azsandrider »

Once you start volunteering for a group such as the ASA, even a few hours of your time at a local raffle car event, you will become more involved with the ASA as you will see & feel the passion of fellow ASA volunteers.

The hard part is getting a person to take that first step to volunteer the first time. After they participate in their first event volunteering for the ASA, the person finds it easier to continue to help out.

I think many people know the ASA needs volunteer help and may be afraid to step up to help thinking they will be overwhelmed if they take a chair position. Even if a person does not want to take a leadership role, such as a chair position, the ASA can still use their help.

I'm trying to step up and do more over here in Az since I retired. I'll talk to Bob & see where else I can help the ASA.

I can, and always do, try to invite other duners to join the ASA and to help the ASA at local events.
(The above statement is my own opinion and not that of the ASA's.)

T. Wight
Mesa, AZ.
ASA Supporting Member
ASA Volunteer

Is your spouse an ASA member??? Numbers count!!

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