VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
Which Hat Should I Wear?
are you doing right now as you read this? Eating the lunch you never have
time to leave your desk for? Scheduling a meeting via the telephone? Writing
yourself a note about a task you need to do today?
The term multitasking was originally coined to refer to a computers ability to execute more than one task at a time. In multitasking the single CPU involved switches from one program to another so quickly that it gives the appearance of executing all of the programs at the same time. Remind you of any volunteer coordinators you know?!
A term used similarly by the military is "dual-hatted," referring generally to a commander who oversees two distinct but compatible operations. Most military installations have an installation volunteer coordinator (IVC) who serves as the single point of contact for volunteerism. Although the responsibilities of the IVC vary dependent on the service and installation, more and more IVCs are dual-hatted acting as the commanders representative on volunteer issues while simultaneously fulfilling another role, often in another service-dependent area such as relocation or family readiness. With dual-hatting comes the resultant expectation that you can handle several, often unrelated, tasks simultaneously. Although the National Institute of Mental Health has published findings that indicate switching back and forth between tasks actually takes longer than staying with and completing the task at hand, we continue to unreasonably expect just that of ourselves.
How do you, as a dual-hatted, multi-tasked volunteer coordinator stay sane? You can take some tips from successful CEOs who maintain strict personal rules about how they multi-task.
Again, just like many volunteers, volunteer coordinators have a hard time saying no. Practice!
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More Than A Few Good Volunteers
has played an integral role throughout military history in the lives
of soldiers, airmen, Marines, sailors, and Coast Guardsmen. Early on,
soldiers were the recipients of volunteer efforts, in the form of mended
uniforms, care for their wounds, and comfort for their families when
they fell. Today, as often as they are the recipients, active duty and
reserve military members, Department of Defense civilian employees,
retirees, their spouses and children are volunteers in schools,
hospitals, sports activities, retirement centers, churches, community
service projects anywhere theyre needed. Through their
dedication, they not only transform military installations into communities,
but also become very active members of their communities outside the
of Defense (DoD) family centers have served as the focal point for military
families for over 25 years ago. Family centers identifies
Army Community Service Centers, Navy and Marine Corps Fleet and Family
Service Centers, and Air Force Family Support Centers -- the places
to go when military members and their families need assistance with
the unique demands of the military lifestyle. Their support programs
keep family and military members informed and provide support when necessary,
always encouraging self-sufficiency. A primary focus has always been
every local community takes maximum advantage of the willing, talented,
and active men, women, and youth living and working just inside the
base or post gates. Often that is simply because community organizations
and agencies are not aware of the existence of volunteer resource offices.
Each branch of the service may call their program by a different name,
but the overriding mission is always the same service to their
communities, on and off duty, on and off the installation.
Army encourages a culture of service and citizenship by offering a wide
range of volunteer opportunities through their
Army Community Service (ACS) Centers. Typically the ACS has over 10,000
volunteers who contribute approximately 500,000 hours of service annually.
Most ACS staffs have a volunteer supervisor who can help your agency
or community find a great fit for your volunteer needs.
though the Marines are Americas most deployed force, they are
well known for their off-duty volunteer activities, many coordinated
through the Marine Corps Community Services. One of Americas best-known
volunteer activities, Toys for Tots is sponsored by the Marine Corps
Reserves and annually benefits military and community children.
Navys Fleet and Family Service Centers provide meaningful volunteer
opportunities, from on-base youth coaching to participation in the Adopt-A-School
Program. Adopt-A-School began as a grassroots effort that has developed
into a true partnership between community schools and the Navy and Marine
Corps. Sailors and Marines make a huge difference in numerous ways through
this program, from summer reading to mentoring youth.Although
many volunteer at their own childs school, there are also many
volunteers who do not have children but treat this volunteer opportunity
as an investment in Americas future .
the early 1980s, Air Force Family Support Centers have helped
maintain a diverse system of support functions, including a Volunteer
Resource Program. Though the program emphasizes personal development
through community involvement, it can also provide volunteer opportunities
suited to professional development for spouses seeking new or updated
work-related experience. Like its sister services, the Air Force recognizes
the importance of its volunteers by offering volunteers a number of
free childcare hours at its on-base facilities.
thousands of other volunteers, the unselfish efforts of those associated
with the military touch lives and inspire hearts across America. They
carry their military excellence and volunteer spirit into communities
around the world, wherever they are serving.
Check out http://www.military.com for a list of military installations near your community. Call the family center and find out if you can enlist more than a few good volunteers!
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