Volunteers: A Resource Worth More Than Money
Today I can’t help but expound on the virtues of dedicated volunteers. Being a volunteer myself, I hope you will in no way think I am singing my own praises – I am not. I am shouting from the top of Taipei 101 that Seeds of Grace is truly blessed with the biggest hearted, most creative and dedicated volunteers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing!
Truly, when I think about how we have struggled and where we have triumphed over the last four years, I am reminded about how truly blessed we are as an organization. We have teams of people who are chomping at the bit to get into the garden every year… We have more who only want to help with seemingly menial office and administrative tasks and even more who want to help us raise funds by building fabulous events and other fundraising activities.
One such activity recently won Seeds of Grace the top seat – Our small, baby-toddler organization went head to head with some really big organizations – well-established organizations, organizations with much bigger budgets than ours – and WE TIED FOR 1ST PLACE!!! A team of people took a miniscule fiscal allotment and fashioned something that represented our organization to a tee in the most creative way – Now, I have never pretended to be artistic – I can’t apply the detail required to claim that trait – but when I laid out the idea for entering this contest – which included the general theme for the entry, a team of people came together, added the necessary flits and flares, assembled it and – all while providing the insight and applying the imagination – and made it the winner!
As I reflect on this one single activity, I realize it is a microcosm of how Seeds of Grace has been intentionally grown and developed over the last 4+ years. Not by my intention, though I would love to claim some of the yahoo for its success – but I had this idea (God-bred for sure) and people, of course sent by God Himself, with skills more detailed and developed than mine have shaped the idea into programs, gardens, aguaponic systems, community education, fundraiser galas and comedy shows, artistic creations that win FIRST PLACE and all in all it is Seeds of Grace. My intention is simply to do God’s Will – that is all I can claim. Those with the detailed thinking – the know-how to build spreadsheets and filing systems, organize people and projects, engineer intricate systems and make flowers out of soda pop bottles – those people are the heart of this organization! Those volunteers have made this organization what it is… a tool for the Lord to use to grow His Kingdom organically… Sustainably.
Humbled. I am again humbled by God’s ever-present, all-knowing and omnipotent grace, which has brought so many across my path. I am so grateful for the ongoing blessing of new faces, bringing with them new ideas and new ways of thinking about how God is using Seeds of Grace to reach into the most broken of the broken. I am always in awe of how he uses resources – so many times without the knowledge of the resource itself (or himself! Or herself!). I am completely honored that so many of the volunteers who have been with Seeds of Grace from the beginning are still here in some capacity or another, supporting the mission to build sustainable, organic gardens in impoverished neighborhoods around the world to feed God’s Sheep. The seeds that we plant in the ground are fertilized by God’s blessing – then the seeds He plants in people’s hearts are grown by the love He shows us how to give.