The Chairman's Corner

Notes from Merv Shetler

December 2007


Bluebills Highlights of 2007

Where has the year gone?

When I start getting invitations to end of the year luncheons and parties I know it is time to begin planning for the next year. We have had a full calendar in 2007. There may not have been all that many new volunteering projects but we have been doing more of the traditional volunteering tasks. The existing members have been volunteering more time, talent and skills. Studies show that volunteers will increase their effort and hours when finding an "interesting and challenging opportunity". I guess our members like what they’re doing because the hours recorded keep growing with only a slight drop in membership.

Each of the chapters has learned to take on projects that leverage the strength of their membership and community. As such, all the chapters are pursuing different volunteer opportunities. Some examples of the uniqueness of the four chapters are noted:

* * * * *

The Growing Eastside Chapter

A major accomplishment this year has been the growth of the new Eastside chapter. Thanks to the enthusiasm and sprit of the chapter leaders Penny Kahn, M.J. Sanker and Ben Sakamoto. Bluebills now have a chapter that meets the needs of that vital community with a growing cadre of volunteers. One of their first projects was to get a Red Cross Crisis Response team trained and organized. Another on-going project is supporting Bellevue Community College in conducting mock interviews for readying students to face the outside world of industry.

* * * * *
Olympic Peninsula Chapter Touches Their Communities

The Olympic Peninsula chapter has a specialized team for building ramps and renovating homes so the elderly can stay in the comfort of their homes longer. They conduct an annual drive to support Domestic Violence victims around Christmas time. This year they built reindeers and sold them to raise funds. All total they generated approximately $6000 towards the fund drive.
* * * * *
Heritage Chapter Keeping Involved

The Heritage chapter’s signature project is the Teachers Resource Center-Kent and Rainier Beach- where they work with World Vision to support teacher visits to provide school supplies for needy children. They are now serving around 150 schools in the Western Washington area. Another welcomed group is the Busy Bees and their many quilts, blankets, caps and baskets that go to the Children’s Hospital, Fred Hutchinson and homes of the less fortunate.
* * * * *
SnoKing Chapter Makes Its Presence Felt

The SnoKing chapter is working with Volunteers of America/World Vision to distribute supplies to schools and needy organizations. Also the "Mighty Movers" team is usually busy helping less fortunate people moving to more suitable living quarters. Their group has been very active in awareness fairs in the Everett area.

* * * * *

The Importance of Reporting Your Volunteer Hours

The above examples are just a sampling of the many volunteer activities our members are supporting with the 85,000 hours a year recorded by the chapters. If we could get everyone to report the actual hours worked I venture to guess this would be over a 100,000 hours a year. Why is it important to let us know the hours volunteered? Boeing funds the Bluebills from the Community Relations Funds and would like to know their return on investment. My real goal is to determine the number of hours all Boeing retirees, not just Bluebills, volunteer. Just think about the impact that the some 42,000 Boeing retirees have on the Puget Sound area. It would be great to read a headline in the Seattle Times or KING and KOMO on how the Boeing retirees continue to impact the community they live in after retirement.

The Challenge for 2008

A new year and new challenges are just around the corner. The council is looking at a number of new outreach programs for our members. Studies indicate volunteers will enjoy and stay with a group longer when they can find opportunities that interest them. As Bob Lambert keeps reminding us, members need to find some relevant purpose for volunteering: interesting, enjoyable, camaraderie, social groups, feeling of contributing, using their skills, "I’m helping people" and "I’m supporting my community".

Let’s see if we can challenge our members better in 2008.

Merv Shetler

Chair, Central Leadership Council

May '05 Chairman's Corner

Fall '05 Chairman's Corner

Summer '06 Chairman's Corner

January '07 Chairman's Corner

To see Bluebills Volunteer Statistics, click on the chart icon to the left.

Bluebills Home Page | Mission | History | Chairman's Corner | Leadership | Chapters | News | Kids Resource Center | Solitaires | Accomplishments | Honors

 date of this page version:4 January 2008