The following was written by Jack Porath, Ships Captain
The life-blood of any non-profit organization is the ability of people of all backgrounds to work together, be interested in the organization to which they belong, and the willingness of the members to devote a few hours of their time, even if it is inconvenient, along with their ability to devote some financial assistance. Too often a non-profit organization’s volunteer endeavors rely on few individuals, a rather small percentage of the overall membership, rather than the whole and it is these few who suffer burnout after a period of time. When these few cannot continue, a void sometimes occurs which if not filled can result in the death of the organization. This cannot, and should not, happen. Ideally, the pool of volunteers expands rather than contracts.
At the time of my initially writing this in Nov 2009, and which is true today on 8 June 2011, is that virtually all volunteer organizations (military and non-military) are suffering declining membership yet the population is increasing. There are many reasons for this. But, at the same time, new
organizations with similar beliefs and goals are being created, often competing for the same people. Current world-wide conflicts finds new organizations again being created, dedicated solely for the individuals of these current wars; e.g., Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Yet, the Veterans of Foreign Wars exists, and has existed, for combat veterans of all wars and conflicts from 1899 to the present. In the view of this writer, unless and until more people become active in the organizations to which they belong a consolidation or shrinking of organizations will continue and the main message(s) may become fragmented. We cannot, and should not, compete with each other. One main force rather than lots of little ones have more of an impact when the shouting starts!
Within O.K. Ingram Ship 1774 and other Posts throughout the world, volunteer opportunities exist. Volunteers are needed. Volunteers are appreciated. Training and guidance exists. The committees and functions listed with our web site are the core of the VFW. People are needed for them to operate efficiently and effectively. People who help often find it personally rewarding.
Please, contact an officer or the Committee Chair to tell him/her that you are interested.
Should you desire to kill an organization, Post, etc., follow this:
* Don't attend meetings, but if you do, arrive late.
* Be sure to leave before the meeting is closed.
* Never have anything to say at the meeting - wait until you get outside, and when outside complain about the meeting or specific events of the meeting.
* When at the meeting, vote to do everything, then go home and do nothing.
* When at the meeting, vote to spend existing funds but do nothing to help obtain needed funds.
* The next day, find fault with the officers and other members.
* Take no part in the organization's affairs.
* Be sure to sit in the back, so you can talk freely to another member.
* Get all the organization will give you, but don't give the organization anything.
* Never ask anyone to join the organization or committee.
* At every opportunity, threaten to resign and solicit others to do the same.
* Talk cooperation, but don't cooperate.
* If asked to help, say you don't have time.
* Never read anything pertaining to the organization.
* Never accept an office - it is easier to criticize than do things.
* If appointed to a committee, or when volunteering, never give any time or service to it.
* If there are finances to pay, just ignore it, or wait until the last minute without voicing support.
* Don't do anymore than you have to, and, when others willingly and unselfishly use their ability to help the good cause along, then complain that the organization is run by a clique or “they” are never interested in others.
* Complain about others or the “process”, especially when having an alcoholic drink in the Club.
* When at the bar, ignore other members and talk to the “clique”.
* Don’t give constructive criticism when needed along with recommendations for positive change.