I have to tell you about something I am very excited about at FIRM. I recently began a journey (along with some of our staff and board) through a training process that will help us to become a “volunteer-minded” organization. The training process is called the Service Enterprise Initiative (SEI) and helps organizations like FIRM rethink the way we engage volunteers. I must tell you that I have been inspired by what I have been learning and the great potential at FIRM to unlock the power of volunteers to help us to grow, be sustainable and best serve our community.
We are blessed at FIRM to have a strong group of volunteers. In 2014, we estimate that approximately 250 volunteers came through our doors and that over 11,000 volunteer hours were served. This results in over $100,000 of resources given to FIRM to help “Share Christ’s love to build communities of hope with new Americans.” That is a fantastic number and I want to personally thank every volunteer that wrapped presents for our Christmas event, served pho at our fundraiser, helped paint our community room and any of the other areas where you might have served. We are working hard to develop a system to best capture all of the great work you have done and educate the community on this service.
However, there is much more to be done in this area! For example, due to finances, we now need volunteers to help us cover the reception area at FIRM. Is there anyone out there willing to help us in this way? Is there anyone out there who could help us with our Human Resources department? How about with putting together a formalized clothes pantry and food pantry for a community desperately in need of these resources? These are just a few of the volunteer needs we have, but I am committed to figuring out new ways to engage volunteers in the great work we do at FIRM everyday to meet all of our volunteer needs! I look forward to sharing more about this with you in the future, but do not ever hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if you would like to invest your time into the refugee community of Fresno.
In His Service,