Live from NY… it’s Katelyn’s weekly blog post! OK, that was incredibly lame but Michael beat me to it with the Frank Sinatra reference. I too am writing to you from New York city, where I am also attending the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service. I feel very lucky to be here and to have the opportunity to take in all that the conference and city has to offer.
I have attended a variety of sessions so far. Some have been captivating and meaningful while others, honestly have been somewhat of a disappointment. However, two sessions stand out in my mind and I would like to share them with you.
The first session I attended entitled “Nonprofit Guide to Going Green” by Ted Hart from GreenNonprofits was phenomenal. He was a very dynamic and passionate speaker who thoroughly educated the audience on this hot topic and then dedicated a substantial amount of time for audience engagement through discussion. He even raffled off a free copy of his new book Nonprofit Guide to Going Green but alas, I was not the lucky winner.
Hart discussed his nonprofit’s green certification program and how nonprofits can make significant strides to “greening” their organizations while also remaining cognizant of budget spending. He recommended that the issue be brought to the table and commonly talked about within the office. He also stressed the importance of upper-level management buy-in. Some tips for greening that were suggested include powering down all computers at the end of the day, placing all computers on “power save” mode after 15 minutes or less of idling, placing “Turn off Light” labels above every light switch in the office, encouraging water conservation, purchasing recycled paper and providing bins for the recycling of paper, plastic, glass, cardboard etc.
I left the session feeling energized and ready to serve as a green ambassador of sorts in my professional and personal life. I am excited to read his book as I am sure the material will be relevant to both.
The other session that I would like to share with you was an immersion learning session held at the WTC Tribute Center. The session was on engaging individuals and families to participate in the 9/11 National Day of Service and how hopefully the spirit of service and solidarity that came out of such an immense tragedy, will continue to inspire others to volunteer and give back not only on this day of remembrance, but throughout the rest of the year as well.
We had a chance to walk through the Tribute Center which proved to be highly emotional and touching. I couldn’t hold back my tears while reading the last words of those who passed away that day on the walls, audio clips of firefighters working tirelessly to save employees on the upper floors of the Towers and viewing the hundreds of photos of loved ones that were lost. We also went on a walking tour where we saw the Firemen’s memorial and got a closer look at the reconstruction efforts.
The 9/11 memorial is expected to be open to the public in 2012.