Why I Volunteer?

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Need some inspiration to get involved in a Committee; lead a team; help with a project or the website or serve on the Board? Keep reading…

Lyn Kennison

When I was asked to write down a few thoughts on what being a member of the PNW glass guild and formally the Oregon glass guild has been for me, many things came to mind. I joined the OR glass guild in 2004-05 after just having taken my first stained glass class and jewelry fusing class. I was welcomed in and felt right at home. I was aware of my lack of knowledge but soon found out how generous people were with giving information to help me learn. I took classes often subsidized by the guild and learned more. I joined Committees and learned more techniques and people to form lasting friendships. I also learned it is ok to have” failures” and then learn how to turn them around to be wonderful pieces. This is a great organization to belong to and get involved in. Covid has not stopped us from getting a new website, planning meetings on line, have playdates on line so the learning can continue, planning contests, and open studio tours for those comfortable to do so.

I encourage you all to get involved. We can all help each other to keep on growing and learning about all kinds of glass. There are so many wonderful people in this organization, we need your commitment and support by stepping forward to be on the board in some capacity. I have learned so much from my fellow glass artist friends. My time as President comes to an end according to the bylaws. Join us with your new visions, energy, and love of glass. We need you to join the board!

Thanks Lyn Kennison, President

Linda Gerrard

I joined the Glass Guild about 10 years ago and have been the Sponsorship Director for nearly that entire time. From early on, I decided that I would attend the Board meetings as well as the general meetings that were held each month so I could see the organization from the inside out. We hadn’t had a Sponsorship Director for several years and I thought this was an area I could help out with. As Sponsorship Director, I not only brought in new sponsors, but I lead the team who did the Vendor Fair as well. Additionally, I was also on the planning committee. There were around 8 of us who got together and tossed around ideas for the general meetings. Once we decided on a few topics for several monthly meetings, someone would volunteer to contact the Sponsor, potential Sponsor or member to see if they were interested in presenting to the group. Well, I have to say they nearly always said yes and this made for very interesting general meetings. I was fortunate to be able to attend a Guild sponsored class where I gained so much knowledge about particular technique from an expert.

When the Guild didn’t bring someone in for a couple years, I took it upon myself to contact one of my favorite artists and see if they would come to Portland to do a class. I did that for 3 or 4 years and all the participants were thrilled they could take these classes. So, you’re probably wondering why I would volunteer to help out in so many areas. Well, after attending several meetings and seeing how generous everyone was to answer questions and help new fusers (which I was), I decided that I wanted to be contribute to this wonderful organization. Have you heard the phrase “Many hands makes light work”? Have you experienced the kindness and giving of other members? Have you participated in a class sponsored by the Guild? Have you received a discount from a sponsor or participated in a sponsored activity like empty bowls? Did you attend one of the Vendor Fairs? What am I getting at? That’s easy, we need YOU to volunteer so the Guild can continue bringing these fabulous things to our members. None of the positions are hard to do and we have lots of people who are there to help out, so give it some thought. Where can you help out?

Thanks, Linda Gerrard

I volunteered 3 years ago to be treasurer of the Oregon Glass Guild (back then) because I got a call from the nomination committee asking if I would consider it as they really needed someone to help with that job and since I had helped with the Gathering of the Guild, someone thought I might be good as treasurer. It has been a lot of work but also an honor to help the Board make sure the guild is financially solvent, that all our bills are paid, and to help develop innovations for the guild and find a way to pay for them. Along the way, I have also learned how to do electronic banking, do business with a bank, maintain accounts in Quicken, and deal with the state and the federal government on taxes, and also on thorny issues like when we changed the name of the guild. It has been a challenge but also a great lesson in business and financial management.

Thanks, Lesley Kelly

Karen Seymour

Glass caught me long ago. After years spent running a computer training business and all the different hats that entails, I sold the business in
2004 to try selling my glasswork and classes full time. Being old enough now for Social Security means I finally have time to explore glass without having to worry about making things that will sell but also means that my body can’t take traveling to do art shows and give classes anywhere but in my home studio. It’s time to give back to the community in other ways. Why am I volunteering with the Guild? Glass keeps my brain working and makes my heart happy. I like talking glass with other artists exploring the medium. And I don’t want to have to buy my glass by mail order. This means keeping the local shops from closing, which means helping them and their customers sell glass. So I started a glass promoting newsletter and website, FriendsInGlass.org, which I’m now merging into the Guild.

Making art is solitary. Volunteering with the Guild adds a more social component. I’ve made over a dozen new glass-friends on Zoom that I’ve never met in person. The Guild also means everyone doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel themselves: we can help each other learn everything from new glass techniques to computer-marketing stuff to sales insights.

What I’m doing for the Guild?
Web-help: learning how to use the new website and in turn helping others learn to use it. The new website is a great tool for tying the region’s glass community together. I’m also contributing to the Newsletter to help make the news more regional. What’s happening 3 hours away may be interesting enough to get a fellow glass artist to come see. Or you may discover there’s someone doing glass just a few blocks over. I’d love to have company on the web-help team. Can you spare about an hour a week?
Do you want to become more computer proficient, enjoy teaching and helping solve problems all while picking up interesting glass tidbits and talking to other glass enthusiasts? Let me know

Thanks, Karen Seymour

My first position was as Vice President of the Oregon Glass Guild for the State Organization. I was helping the President at the time. I helped to organize and coordinate meetings. I met people from the Guild and enjoyed connecting.
Second position was Vice President of the Portland Chapter and also Play Day and Events Coordinator—I felt committed to keeping the organization afloat and liked asking people to have play days.
Third position was membership—it was difficult keeping track of the new members. I took the position over from someone else who had not been trained in how to do the membership tasks. I feel good that we increased membership substantially over the last year. I like working with the Board Members and getting to know them well. I also helped with the website by reviewing changes and staying in touch with our website designer. I like problem solving.

Thanks, Margie Rieff

Carlyne Lynch

I was raised in a family that volunteered in our communities. We served meals at church, cooked pancakes at events and worked fund raisers together. In school I joined many clubs and groups that also volunteered. It became a habit and my whole family participated and felt it was our community responsibility. As I went through college and joined work environments this habit of service also continued. I still have close friend from my lifetime of volunteer projects. Groups and organizations help you meet and experience a diversity of backgrounds and culture. You can’t help[ but expand and grow. Building relationships may not be easy for some people, but when uniting around a project or an event, it can make it so much easier! Organization will also gain from the input of diverse members and new energy and ideas. I volunteer because it’s in my DNA and the Guild needs it to continue to thrive.

Thanks, Carlyne Lynch

Greta Schneider

I started doing glass over 25 years ago but we spent as much time as we could traveling in our motorhome….so I never really even knew there was a glass guild here. I ran into Aviva Brandt somewhere about 5-6 years ago (about the time we started staying in Oregon year round) and she talked me into coming to a glass guild meeting…and that was the beginning. She also suggested going on the open studio tour and meeting some people and that was fun too. I’m not really sure how I started doing more with the guild, which eventually led to being on the board as Secretary and VP, and now working on the newsletter and other committees. I think I just started volunteering to help on some committee projects for the guild and at some shows.
It is an entirely different experience working on a specific project with other glass artists over just attending meetings. On the board and on a committee, you really have the time to get to know each other and become friends….and that makes a huge difference in your experience as a glass artist and as part of a glass community.

You not only develop a group with whom you share a love of learning about glass….but you really support each other. You will enjoy sharing your accomplishments, your interests, what you are curious about learning more about (and your sometimes humorous mistakes) and there is a closeness that you can’t get from just going to meetings. It is really nice that with the advent of Zoom meetings we can bring together so many people from many locations who could not physically attend the in-person meetings. It has been a good change. However, if you also work on a committee, on a project or on the board – you will not only really be helping the glass guild, your whole view of the glass world will broaden and become so much more exciting!

Thanks, Greta Schneider

To volunteer for the Board, please contact the nominating committee

Here’s a list of the many other ways you can volunteer and who to contact