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Work in the Vineyard

By Lewis Speaks-Tanner, DignityUSA Vice President

Between August and September, it is back to school for over 50 million elementary through high school age students. These two months still mark a change for everyone: summer is over, fall has begun. I saw a Facebook post that indicated there were only 15 Fridays left before Christmas. Talk about stressing people out!

In the northeast, fall brings on colder weather. In other areas of the country, the weather may be kinder. It is time to get back to work, to focus on what we said can wait until fall. If someone asked us in June whether we could help out on a project, many of us may have said, "Could you get back to us in the fall?"

Now is the time. DignityUSA depends on all its volunteers, from its Board of Directors, committee members, and other volunteers who commit themselves to one project, which can consist of a small project or phone call, because they are an expert in their field. 

There are several opportunities to get more involved. DignityUSA Board of Directors committees are looking for volunteers for the following committees: Finance, Fundraising, Human Resources, Marketing, Nominations, Publications, and Website Redesign.

The Finance Committee assists our treasurer by reviewing the various organizational reports and advising the board on fiscal policy.

The Fundraising Committee comes up with a concrete plan to raise additional funds to run the organization, implements the plan, and monitors its progress. DignityUSA relies on membership for most of its operation. In recent years, we have been fortunate to have secured several grants and bequests. Our continued success relies on the generosity of individuals who contribute to various appeals. This summer, the ALS foundation raised millions of dollars from its viral ice bucket challenge. Imagine if DignityUSA had the core talent to make a similar campaign go viral. Think of the possibilities.

The Human Resources Committee advises the Board of Directors and Executive Director on new and existing laws and policies affecting our employees in various states, as well as making sure that payroll and other employee responsibilities are met.

The Marketing Committee is the outward face of DignityUSA; it determines how DignityUSA is branded and how others find out about DignityUSA and what it does. Its main charge is advertising the DignityUSA convention.

The Nominations Committee is responsible for identifying candidates to run for the Board of Directors.

The Publications Committee is looking for individuals willing to write articles, and/or dedicate time to finding individuals willing to write articles or obtain permission to reproduce articles for Dateline and/or Quarterly Voice (QV). In addition, the Publications Committee is looking for individuals to edit submissions and layout articles for publication. 

Website Redesign is an ad hoc committee that has components of marketing and technology. Our website layout is outdated and needs to be overhauled so that people new to DignityUSA can find the information that they need and those of us who are members will continue to go to the site, week after week, month after month. This is the challenge. We need both experts and ordinary users to assist Logan Bear, DUSA Webminister, with this project. 

These are a few highlighted committees and volunteer opportunities. There are many others. All of these and all DignityUSA committees are looking for individuals who are willing to commit for one or more projects (and at least a one year commitment).

There is much work in the vineyard - the grapes are ready to be harvested and made into wine. It is your DignityUSA. We are only as strong as those who volunteer and make us a priority in their life. Will you volunteer this fall? If so, you can contact me directly at vicepresident@dignityusa.org or contact Peggy Burns, Operations Manager at info@dignityusa.org.

Thank you for your continued support! Wishing you a wonderful fall season!