President’s Corner – October 2017 – Volunteerism/Community

Wow. What a couple of months this has been! As you know, we did not issue a September newsletter or blog entry due to Hurricane Irma preparations. I think everyone in Viera breathed a collective sigh of relief when the storm did not hit us as strong as it was originally predicted. Also, that we live in a community with modern and upgraded infrastructure so that the recovery time was greatly reduced. There were actually areas that didn’t even lose their power! All in all, we are very lucky here in our Viera bubble.

However, now that Irma is passed and we see the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, the need for giving, donations and volunteers is greater than ever. My heart breaks for Puerto Rico. If you can do something to help, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, please do. Even if you wish to keep your giving local, we have many segments of our Brevard County population that are still trying to recover from Irma or are struggling in some other way. We have hungry children and homeless families. These are problems right here in our own backyard that we can do something about. I am reminded of something my friend, Keith Gee, with The Children’s Hunger Project always says when he talks about their business plan: “See a hungry kid. Buy food. Feed the kid.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Any time that I am asked to write something about myself, I almost always include my commitment to my community and my volunteerism efforts. I strongly believe that we each have an obligation to contribute back to our community. Whether that is with money or with sweat, we are the only ones who can make our community a better place for everyone – it starts with us – individually and collectively. Lucky for Brevard County, I don’t have much of a personal life (LOL), so I can probably spend a little more time on my volunteerism than most people have the time for – but, I am glad to do it. I haven’t always had the time or the means to contribute so I make sure I do what I can now. And, actually, I will be working on a Habitat for Humanity home this weekend (weather permitting) so I am really looking forward to getting out there and hammering a few nails!

At the most recent Resident Orientation session, I was really impressed with one of my attendees who inquired about the volunteer opportunities available in our community. Being new to Brevard, he was unaware of our many charitable organizations that use volunteers to achieve their goals. We discussed quite a few of possible opportunities for him. Also, the CVCA website has a page dedicated to volunteerism: https://www.cvcaviera.com/education/community/volunteerism/

We all have busy lives. Family to take care of, jobs to pay attention to, hobbies, entertainment, friends, etc. However, when you think about what “community” means to you, isn’t it really about the people in your community and the fellowship you share? Would you have a community without your neighbors? I have seen Viera come together and help in such generous ways and I am always proud of how our community members step to the plate whenever there is a need. And, it is not just giving – it is also doing in small and large ways. We have a poster in our office called “How to Build a Community”. Here is the text:

Turn off your TV;
Leave your house;
Know your neighbors;
Look up when you are walking;
Greet people;
Sit on your stoop;
Plant flowers;
Use your library;
Play together;
Buy from local merchants;
Share what you have;
Help a lost dog;
Take children to the park;
Garden together;
Support neighborhood schools;
Fix it even if you didn’t break it;
Have potlucks;
Honor elders;
Pick up litter;
Read stories aloud;
Dance in the street;
Talk to the mail carrier;
Listen to the birds;
Put up a swing;
Help carry something heavy;
Barter for your goods;
Start a tradition;
Ask a question;
Hire young people for odd jobs;
Organize a block party;
Bake extra and share;
Ask for help when you need it;
Open your shades;
Sing together;
Share your skills;
Take back the night;
Turn up the music;
Turn down the music;
Listen before you react to anger;
Mediate a conflict;
Seek to understand;
Learn from new and uncomfortable angles;
Know that no one is silent although many are not heard.

 

The poster really says it all. I couldn’t do any better.  So, until next time, please remember … “No one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

Eva M. Rey, President
Central Viera Community Association, Inc.

 

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