Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Finding a Place to Call Home

When I moved back to Bryan four years ago, I never thought it would take so long to feel connected again within my own community. I attributed much of this to my telecommuting, not feeling like I “clicked” at church and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed with all of the changes in my life. I thought since I wasn’t working outside the home, the next best thing would be to volunteer. I searched for what seemed to be forever for something that felt right. I was amazed at how difficult it was to find a volunteer opportunity. I was floored when I was once told for a church function that they had too much help. No offer to put me on a list and keep me in mind for next time, no offer to direct me to another area I might be able to help. Just a no, which quite frankly surprised me. In all of my volunteer efforts at my old home church and the areas I used volunteers at work, I would NEVER turn down help. I also received some weird comments when I decided to help with a fundraising event at the church school. Committee Member(CM): “What grade is your child in?” Susanne: “She isn’t in school yet.” CM: “Why are you helping?” Susanne: “Just because I wanted to.” CM: “Oh, really, hmmm, interesting.” Word got around I didn’t have a child in the school and from then on, once again, I just didn’t seem to fit.

Things just started to click sometime late last year. I joined a Bunco group with a great group of ladies, I started volunteering at the hospital as a Eucharistic Minister, I began to work with HelmsBriscoe and I finally found a place to call my volunteer home, The Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley. In January I began serving on the Board of Directors. It is a great group of people who really want to see the Museum thrive. In addition to a terrific Board, I have also had a chance to interact with a fantastic staff. These people are totally dedicated to ensuring the children in our area have a safe, interactive, affordable place to learn all while having fun. They work on a shoestring of a budget, often times well over 40 hours a week, but always seem to find some way to put on terrific programs for kids. The best part is that I am able to use my fundraising and event planning skills which makes me extremely happy.

So I guess the purpose of this post is two-fold. 1) Don’t give up when you are trying to find “your place.” Although it was frustrating, all of the things I tried led me to where I am today, a place I feel “at home.” 2) You will be seeing posts from me about upcoming events and fundraising efforts. The Museum has the potential to grow and offer more exhibits and interactive events for kids of all socioeconomic levels, but we can’t do it alone, we need your help. Of course, I would love for all of you to buy a duck for the Great Texas Duck Derby, but just as important as financial help, is your help to spread the word about the Museum. If you haven’t been to the Museum in a while, drop by for a visit. Make sure you check out our new, interactive website at www.cmbv.org. Become a fan on Facebook (The Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley) so you can participate in some of our exciting contests we will be launching this week. Even if you are from out of town, take part, I can always mail a prize or personally deliver it! ;)

Have a great week everyone!