|Posted on 6/16/2009 10:43:20 AM|
Author: Dominic Go
My name is Dominic Go, and I am excited to be working here at Make a Difference Michiana for the summer! I am a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame studying both music and political science.
As a resident of South Bend since age 0, I find the non-profit sector to be an extraordinary contribution to the South Bend Community. Ever since I was a child, I have been surrounded by various non-profit organizations around town. From the grade-school food drives for St. Vincent De Paul (Go Crusaders!) to helping paint a mural at the Robsinson Community Learning Center to interning at the Red Cross, the non-profit sector has been a huge part of my life.
So why Make a Difference Michiana this summer? Here are a couple of things that I find exciting about it:
First off, I get to be in touch with all sorts of non-profit agencies. Even as someone who has lived in the South Bend community their whole life, I was astounded to learn that there are over 300 non-profit organizations in the Michiana area!
Thus far, one of my major tasks here at Make A Difference has been to update all of our agencies' information which has allowed me to become at least some what familiar with every agency that we work with. There are the well established, the budding, the very broad,the very specific, and though their missions span a whole host of needs, it is clear to me that this community has a good heart. This is what I want to be a part of.
The second thing I'm excited about is the chance to add my own input and creativity to the overall mission, help the Michiana community. I believe that being a part of Make A Difference allows me to be a gateway for non-profits in the area to connect.
I think one thing that will really help our community is to create a unified front. Non-profits with similar missions can share resources, volunteers, and innovative ideas. Agencies who are older and bigger can share ideas and advice for younger non-profits. Newer non-profits (like Make A Difference) can help update and create innovative marketing strategies for all non-profits to better reach and serve the community.
These are the things I'm excited about.
Now I know that many of you probably see me as an idealistic college student with long hair and a guitar in hand. And I'll tell you, that the fact that I play guitar is completely unrelated to my ideals. In fact, I think that these goals are absolutely attainable and realistic; they are much more than a song about world peace.
How? Well one of Andrew and I's big goals coming up is to revolutionize Make A Difference Day this year. Prior to the actual event, we plan to hold a gathering of all the non-profits we work with. If we get full participation there will be over 300 people at this event. This will be a great opporutnity to learn about what people are doing around town and figure ways in which we can help each other help the community.
Could your agency be a shelter for the Red Cross? Could you help a client of the Center for the Homeless find a job? Work off his/her service requirements? Could your volunteers teach at the YMCA? These are all questions that could be answered at this event.
So to steal a quote from Abraham Lincoln who stole it from Jesus. "A house divided cannot stand." Similarly our non-profit sector will only continue to improve the more we continue to work together!