by George Deatz
A member's important question: Please, tell me more about the Friends of the Garden volunteers. I am curious what your thoughts are about this subject.
Answer: My thoughts in a "nut shell" on volunteers. There is always a percentage of people that are members of a group that will actually "volunteer hands on". There are many things a volunteer can do to contribute to a group's success and community mission. The amount of time is not important, it's the quality of time that counts.
An excellent example of a Friends of the Garden volunteer... A person may or may not "dig in the soil" but invest a lot of time with their talents to produce valuable material that presents our message to the public, assist in the new Botanical Center or help construct a bridge, trellis, kiosk, etc. They come in all ages from an 11 year old docent to an 85 year old gardener.
For those members that can't commit time, funding through memberships and cash donations can be used to hire contract labor if necessary to fill any needed gaps. So in a way these members are volunteering by "proxy". Many volunteers are not "paid members" of the group they are doing volunteer work for. Example some of the docent staff in the butterfly house or staff helping at the butterfly festival are not dues paying members of Friends of the Garden. However they are just as important, or more so, to the overall success of our mission.
Volunteers do what they do because they want to. Employees do what they do, much of the time, because they need or have to. All I ask of a volunteer is to do at least what they commit to, others rely on that commitment.
I am sure there is something I missed in my "nut shell" overview of our volunteers. If so please let me know.
Thank you very much to all of our many volunteers who give the "gift of time"!
Friends of the Garden