Thursday, March 17, 2011

Volunteers are the backbone of our genealogy societies

Something odd has come to my attention. There is a mistaken belief that because Ol' Myrt here favors joining FGS and NGS conferences into one annual event, I am not acknowledging the tremendous volunteer effort it takes to create those conferences. A dear friend brought this concern to my attention and this blog entry is to clear the air.

I specifically take umbrage at comments that Ol' Myrt here doesn't appreciate volunteer efforts.

My Anne Roach blog comment and my blog post NGS and FGS: Rethink your policies in light of RootTech have nothing to do with devaluing volunteer efforts. 

The idea that I "don't understand how hard volunteers work" seems odd. Having served as VP of UGA (the NGS 2010 local conference society) and as NGS 2010 Vendor chair, it might  just be that I know a bit about how hard those dear, dedicated NGS 2010 volunteers worked. Without the extraordinary assistance from local UGA volunteers and FamilySearch volunteers, NGS 2010 couldn't have run as smoothly as it did.
In my old Florida days, I witnessed the work of others who diligently provided programs and library services for other genealogists. As a past president of the Manasota Genealogical Society, instructor for the Manasota PAF Users Group, and working at three family history centers, I learned a great deal about the commitment of wonderful volunteers. It always seems the jobs fall to a few who take up the task ever so willingly. 
There's just something about rolling up your sleeves with others, and not being afraid to get in the trenches to get the job done, that builds friendships and makes life interesting. You learn a lot about people at these less-than-glamorous times, behind the scenes at a conference.

BOTTOM LINE: Myrt appreciates volunteers.
People can agree to disagree on the timing of change. People can agree to disagree on just about anything.

But to accuse someone of not appreciating volunteers is unkind. That is an attack on the person, not on his or her wacky ideas about remote possibilities of combining NGS & FGS annual conferences.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your fiend friend in genealogy.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Myrtle, HI Pat,
    Obviously those speakers do not know of what they speak. How many thousands of hours have we all given to the genealogical community before the internet became popular. I can not even fathom the hours I have spent. I have yet to take home a pay check. When I speak I donate it to society and ask them not to write a check. IF I was traveling expenses would be nice. WE volunteer because we love what we do and just because some times some volunteers get paid doesn't mean that more times than not they have donated many hours for free for each activity.
    This really bugged me. HUGS I have known you to many years and it was like they attacked my friend.
    Due to economy we may have to combine in the future it is something one should always remember better to join than loose the entity. It literally has nothing to do with volunteers.