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Volunteers: The Life Blood of an Organization
February 20, 2018
10:00 am
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RobertM
Danville, AL
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Getting volunteers to donate their time to help an organization has always been a tough task. But with the ways modern life is squeezing our share time like never before, it seem like this task has gotten even tougher. Most folks will ask themselves the following 3 questions when deciding to volunteer: 1) Why should I volunteer? 2) How do I find time to volunteer to help and not neglect my other obligations? 3) How can I help?

Why should I volunteer?
That’s what pops in everyone’s mind when asked to help. Well, the one/ones asking you can’t do it their selves and need your help, otherwise they wouldn’t have asked. The ones needing help have determined you have a skill or skills that they need in order to make whatever they are doing successful. Sometimes the ones needing help just issue a broad plea for help and hope that you will recognize that you have the skills to help. The thing to remember is a request for volunteers is a plea for help.

How do I find time to volunteer to help and not neglect my other obligations?
We all have obligations that we must do. Work and family eat first at our time bucket as they should. There is no getting around that. Some folks truly have no extra time after working 3 jobs and taking care of family member’s needs. But now many of us truly have this type a constraint on our time? Let’s take Bowmania as an example. I’ve sat at the registration table for many hours talking to folks and signing folks up. I was going to be at the show anyway, so why not help BHA out by giving someone a break or fill in where needed. Another example was a chapter asked for help in setting up their range. It’s wasn’t going to be convenient for me to go on a Friday evening after work, but I switched a few things around and was able to help. This isn’t always possible all the time, but it’s also no always impossible.

How can I help?
This has two parts, one part is on the “asker” and the other part is on the “hearer”. The biggest killer of Chapters in BHA is lack of help with the ranges. I have been a Chapter President and have setup up targets by way of truck headlights in the rain when I didn’t have enough help. When other members found out what I had gone through they would say “if I’d known you were doing that I’d helped”. I had thought that they would have known that since we were having a tournament on Saturday that we would be setting targets up before Saturday. But once I thought about it, I couldn’t think of anyone I had asked to help. That was on me and I learned that if I wanted help, I needed to let folks know I needed help. I didn’t care if they knew how to do the task at hand, just show up and I’d “learn’em” how to do it. So the “asker’s” part is to ask. The “hearer’s” part is to make an effort the help. I know the kid’s ball game is from 11am to 2pm, but I know the gang is setting up targets at the range so I’m going to text /call the Chapter President and see if they are still working and need help. Or I can get my wife to referee (with two boys it’s always refereeing) the kids while I help man a BHA booth and I’ll referee the kids another time for her. It all boils down to “want to” on the “hearers” part.

Volunteering is tough. Often times it is hard and time consuming work. Sometimes you will think your work has goes unnoticed. But it doesn’t. The ones needing the help are always thankful for you making an effort to help them. The more you help, the deeper sense of pride you will have in what you have helped to create and greater person satisfaction. It’s a win-win for all involve and it all starts with you answering a call for help.

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BubbaB, Charmen McAlpine
February 21, 2018
2:14 pm
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Chester Suttle

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Good post Robert you and I and many others have said time many times,and the life support of bha has always been volunteers,and it has always been about ten percent of the members do 100% of the work to set up shoots,run the shoot and take down the shoots while the other 90% say they don’t have time to help, I have often wonder what they think the 10% do as we have family’s and use to have a job of which I would that a vacation days to help set up for the Saturday shoot and I others that have done the same thing,it all go back to you can do what you want to do its just a matter of how much you care about your club and bha. I personally have seen helping my clubs and bha for over forty years and lord willing I will till I am unable to do so as I have a heart felt passion for the people and organizatio of bowhunters.

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Charmen McAlpine
February 22, 2018
9:20 am
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RobertM
Danville, AL
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Indeed Chester, you are one of the few past BHA Presidents that are still involved. Seems like as soon as they leave office, you rarely see them again. I salute you sir for continuing to support BHA.

When I first got involved in BHA I was in my late 20’s. It use to frustrate me greatly to see the same few folks putting their time, blood, sweat, and tears into helping BHA and all the bowhunters of Alabama while others enjoyed the fruits of their labor. I remember Johnny Gottler doing a ton of work on IBEP (International Bowhunter Education Program). There’s no telling now many hours he spent helping folks get their IBEP Certificate in order to hunt out West. He would have people call him at all hours of the day and night needing the class that, most of the time, they put off until the last minute. Johnny would work with them to get it done. After all his efforts, he would still have some complain about something. I asked him one time why he put up with that stuff. I didn’t understand at the time his answer of “because if I don’t do it, who will?”.

Now that I’ve seen more and done more and in my middle forties, I understand what Johnny was talking about on that hot August summer day. If he didn’t hold the class, those folks won’t be allowed to go on their hunt. More than likely these were hunts of a lifetime that they still think and talk about to this day. By Mr Gottler sacrificing his time and effort, he had giving these hunters lifetime memories. Dealing with the negative stuff was a small price to pay for a man with harden leather thick skin like he had. There’s know tell how many life’s Johnny profoundly impacted with his IBEP work. I know he had and still does have a huge impact on my life. When I look at my IBEP Certification card and see his hand written signature, I know I was taught by one of the best.

But people being unwilling to help isn’t a unique BHA, that’s the way it is in almost everything. I shot IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) and after each person in the squad shoots a stage everyone is suppose to help “tape” the target for the next shooter. Now to tape the target, you walk to any target with holes in it on the range, peel off a sticker, and place it over the hole in the target. That’s it, not hard to understand or do. But in most squads there is usually only a few that will do it consistently. Been in squads that had several folks willing to tape targets, the matches went so smoothly it was amazing.

I guess what I’m getting at in my long winded posts is it was easy for the 20 something me to look around to see only the short term while the 40 something me sees there’s more to volunteering than meets the eye. It doesn’t matter what it is or what everyone else is doing, do what you can do because who else will do it if you don’t?

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