Clyde's Corner on Volunteerism

Clyde’s Corner: A Volunteering Success in San Antonio!

20150228-IMG_8470What is better than a DRI Conference Volunteer Day?  Two Volunteer Days!

At this year’s DRI Conference in Texas, I took a chance at offering a Volunteer Day opportunity both before the official start of the conference and on the evening that the conference closed. The result was gratifying: we had nearly 70 volunteers overall, including almost 20 from Booz Allen Hamilton.

I couldn’t have been more pleased with the enthusiasm on display at the San Antonio Food Bank where both days took place. Our volunteers sorted thousands of pounds of frozen raw foods, canned goods, and more. Seeing everyone enthusiastically approach their assignments was impressive – especially the children working alongside their parents and taking a real interest.

Aside from being hard work (especially the really heavy frozen foods – and no one dropped a frozen ham or turkey 20150228-IMG_8381on their foot, which always makes me breathe a sigh of relief!) the work is invigorating and fun. The sense of real community exists amongst the many volunteer groups at the food bank.

We have now done four Volunteer Days at our conferences so far. Each year, I look for unique assignments to enrich the volunteer experience. We have done work with Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, an organic inner city garden, food banks, and have donated food to many organizations and families from our bountiful lunch orders.

Among my most heartwarming memories was being able to provide food to children in the community that we worked in last year. As little children circled our lunch area on their bicycles we realized that they were hungry (as were their families). We respectfully asked if they would like some food from our lunch purchases. When the response was in the affirmative we packaged up sandwiches, salads and beverages and delivered it to the home of one particular group where many congregated.

There on the steps of the home of this family in need, we gave thanks for what we had, what we were able to do for them and the hope for good things ahead for all. The caring and sharing and all of what we aspire to be on behalf of the DRI Foundation, and all who volunteer with us, can be summed up in that solemn moment.

Beyond that, our foundation does a multitude of good deeds each year. Please look through this website to see who our officers are, our mission statement and many photos of past volunteer work that we have done. We are getting better and better at putting our influence in the places that may be impacted by disasters.  I have formed a 20150228-IMG_8352Volunteerism committee, and soon you will see their profiles and photos on the DRI Foundation website. We will also be announcing programs and practices to expand our volunteerism in the months ahead.

Please reach out to me at cberger@driif.org to inquire about volunteerism and how you can become a part of this movement to give help where help may be needed.

To all our volunteers of the last four years, a profound and heartfelt thank you. To all who will join our cause for the betterment and assistance to others, I thank you and look forward to meeting and working with you.

All the best,

Clyde Berger
Director of Volunteerism and Vice President
Disaster Recovery International Foundation