Dear LWVOR Members, Volunteers all,
This is National Volunteer Week and we need to celebrate our collective energy and accomplishments! From my perspective, across the state to all of our local Leagues and Members at Large, as an ad hoc member of almost all state committees, I am uniquely positioned to see the magnitude of our work and the diversity of our issues and efforts.
The League of Women Voters of Oregon is formidable! I track our strength through our local Leagues who meet and inspire interest and activism, to our interest groups, the book groups, study committees, from our Advocates who apply the study positions to legislative policy work, to our Voter Services, who inform voters to choose elected officials carefully, and to those who network across leagues around the country, focusing on shared concerns. Thank you to all of you who bring your interest, wisdom, professional experience, vigor, and endurance!
This past year has been so challenging! We are organizers, researchers, teachers, even warriors, and this year, we hope we are all survivors. For this Volunteer Week, I offer these inspiring, comforting words from The Book of Joy, by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.
A woman asked Archbishop Tutu how she can find joy in her life when there are so many suffering. He replied: "Start where you are, and realize that you are not meant on your own to resolve all of these massive problems. Do what you can. It is catching. Remember that you are not alone and you do not need to finish the work. It helps no one if you sacrifice your joy because others are suffering. We people who care must be attractive, must be filled with joy, so that others recognize that caring, that helping and being generous are not a burden, they are a joy. Give the world your love, your service, your healing, but you can also give it your joy. This, too, is a great gift".
I owe you all, we owe each other, and society owes the League a debt of gratitude for the mountains we move.
With my warmest thanks, Happy Volunteer Week!
p.s. Tongue in cheek—the Titanic was built by paid professionals and Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers. Warm thanks too to our Staff, who routinely go above and beyond!