After such a successful trip in Peru, it is hard to know where to start up again with this blog. Although I will not see the women again until July, I want to continue to honor them throughout the first half of the year with photos of their work. I also want to begin talking about the development of the organization. Ruraq Maki is a SMALL non-profit, grassroots if you will, and every tiny success is a big milestone. It is exciting to be in the development phases of an organization because we are living through our own birth and seeing the moments now that will shape the organization in the future.
One such moment is a new website that will be unveiled soon! This website has been entirely designed and programmed by our awesome volunteer, Carolina, who has gone above and beyond and put in countless hours to create a site that captures the beauty of South America and the vision of the organization.
I have been working with Carolina for over 6 months and I am touched by how much she has poured into the site. I, myself, have been an avid volunteer for many years and have grown accustomed to the question, “How do you make time for that?!”. It is simple: volunteering has become part of my lifestyle. Just as some people find time to go to the gym and read before bed, I have worked giving my time to others into my life.
Yet, as a volunteer, I only assume the impact I make on others and organizations. I have never had first hand experience being on the receiving end of a volunteer’s help. That is, until now.
In the last year, Ruraq Maki has had 3 amazing volunteers (including Carolina) who have contributed something to the organization that has made a lasting impact. These contributions range from making a bag pattern to programming an entire website, yet they will all be part of the larger form Ruraq Maki takes. These volunteers have left their fingerprint on the organization and they have had the opportunity to not assist a program, but help shape it.
Realizing the great impact Ruraq Maki’s volunteers have made has two effects on me. First- it gives me a sense of deep gratitude for the people who have touched Ruraq Maki in some way. Second- it inspires me to continue, and dare I say it, beef up my own volunteer commitments to outside organizations. Knowing first hand the value of a volunteer’s time reawakens a desire for action and commitment.
I encourage everyone to find a way to work volunteering into their lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be with Ruraq Maki, find a cause that you are passionate about and an organization working in that area. Idealist.org is a wonderful resource for volunteer opportunities and many of the organizations using it are small non-profits like Ruraq Maki. By donating your time to a small organization you have the opportunity to truly influence the shape of an organization and make an impact in ways you never thought possible.