Volunteering: Improving yourself and the Truckee community | SierraSun.com

Volunteering: Improving yourself and the Truckee community

Lisa Dobey

How are those New Year’s resolutions going? I generally wait until about this time of year to write New Year’s resolutions. I find it’s so much easier to meet them when you have nearly half the year under your belt.

Each year one of my resolutions has something to do with self-improvement. It’s a nice reflective way to think about myself in relation to others. Besides, losing weight and getting in shape are so old hat.

One of the most rewarding ways to “improve self” is through volunteering. I have volunteered in the community since I was 12 years old and a volunteer at the Oak Forest Branch Library in Houston. In college I volunteered with the Dallas Rape Crisis Center. In the Bay Area I volunteered with the Contra Costa AIDS Resource Center. Here in Tahoe I volunteer with the Tahoe Maritime Museum and through Rotary projects on an ongoing basis, as well as simple things like handing out programs for the Community Chorus or cooking lunch on Truckee River Day.

Just like being part of a family means washing the dishes and taking out the trash, being part of a community means rolling up your sleeves and getting involved in community activities.

You know what I’m going to say don’t you? Life is not always about money. Sometimes life is about giving an even more precious resource than money ” and that resource is time.

So, how do you start volunteering? Hands On Tahoe is our community’s volunteer center. You can visit H.O.T.’s website at http://www.handsontahoe.org or stop in for office hours Mondays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 10607 West River Street in Truckee (in the office of Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation).

What do you want to do? If you have skills such as marketing, accounting, human resources, or other business skills, H.O.T. can match you with an organization seeking those skills. These volunteer projects might last from three to six months.

If you simply want to volunteer in a one-shot effort to learn more about an organization, those opportunities are available, too. Or, if you want to build a relationship with an organization and volunteer on an on-going basis, many nonprofits would love to have your time.

A counselor friend always said, “The best inheritance parents can give to their children is a few minutes of their time every day.” The inheritance we can give to our community is much the same. Invest your time in our community and our community will flourish.

To quote attorney Bernard Meltzer, “there is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone up.” Exercise and giving back: Talk about lighting two candles with one flame!

I hope your New Year’s resolutions are going well.

Lisa Dobey is the CEO of Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. She can be reached at 530-587-1776 or lisa@ttcf.net.