What will it take to get you to volunteer?

Ned Luce
Posted 9/6/23

You are a volunteer, aren’t you? You get all those benefits like dealing with people. You are a volunteer ticket taker at a concert and the line gets a little long, precipitating somebody …

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What will it take to get you to volunteer?


You are a volunteer, aren’t you? You get all those benefits like dealing with people. You are a volunteer ticket taker at a concert and the line gets a little long, precipitating somebody loudly complaining about having to wait too long to get in. You are helping organize some event and you contact several of your fellow volunteers requesting a quick response and you never hear back. You send information out to your volunteer colleagues and one of them has changed their email address. You get called out because they never got your email. As a volunteer for many organizations over the years I could tell you more. In fact, I know you can tell me more! Oh well, it was worth the pay.

Why do we do it? Frankly, I have found volunteering facilitates making friends. When we were younger and the kids were at home, they were the natural conduit to friendships with other adults who also had children. Moving to Port Ludlow 15 years ago, our grown children no longer helped in this endeavor and neither did the grandchildren. Consequently, we needed to find other ways to find folks who might endure our company. 

As long-time members of the Porsche Club of America while in Kansas City, we found the Olympic Peninsula Region of PCA to be a welcoming group providing parties, rallies, etc. Over a cup of coffee, I solicited suggestions from then PCA member Mike Kenna in Port Townsend who took me to two meetings of his Rotary Club. However, my neighbor Harold Brunstad heard I was looking at Rotary and questioned why I would go to Port Townsend instead of joining the East Jefferson Club in Chimacum. I have been in Rotary for 14 years now and have volunteered my time, energy, and treasure to the organization. Now, Mike is my friend and I have many friends in Port Townsend and East Jefferson from volunteering in Rotary. Oh yeah, in addition to finding friends whilst volunteering, I think these folks make a positive contribution to our community’s life. 

Steve Gross and I volunteered to coordinate a community Sock Hop for seven years. We dressed up as the “Booze Brothers” and recruited locals to create their version of a 1960s hit song by dressing up and mouthing the words. Some of their offerings were outrageous! The images of Jeanne Joseph, Kathy Pappas, Susan Erickson, and others flash in front of my eyes. The money we raised went to the local food bank.

BJ and I have volunteered on committees of one kind or another with the LMC at the Beach Club for several years. She has mostly served on the operations committee, and I have been on the finance committee. I think we can confess that the rewards for these services have not been as robust as you might hope. Yes, we have met people, well, a few people, we enjoy but most of the time involves meetings on subjects near and dear to general manager Brian Belmont’s heart. However, last week the staff at the LMC hosted a “Volunteer Appreciation” brunch for the folks who volunteer in one capacity or another in service to the LMC. Over 30 of us showed up for some bacon, egg casseroles, donuts, and more, plus some kind words from Brian! BJ and I enjoyed sitting with Joan Johnston, Adele Govert, Ron Garton, Sue Milner, Neal Wood, and Mary Jordan. So, our volunteering led us to having friends in the area as well as getting some free food! Now that’s a benefit.

In you are interested in having some friends and making a difference around here, don’t count on the kids anymore. They and your grandchildren may help you program your television and your watch, but you probably only see them at most every couple of weeks or even less. Find someplace you want to help out and make some friends as well as make a contribution. Unfortunately, do not count on a free meal!

Love a curmudgeon and have a great week!


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