When I first heard that the Hands of Network along with the Points of Light Institute was going to be hosting America’s Sunday Supper, I was most excited about the prospect of meeting one of my favorite celebrities; Arianna Huffington. I nervously ran through my mind a list of potential questions to ask that would make me sound like an intelligent, well-versed human being. I also wracked my brain for conversation starters that didn’t sound cliché; you know, the witty one-liners that instantly make the other person laugh at your cleverness and immediately want to engage you further.
As a Regional Coordinator with Volunteer Maryland and I work to provide other Volunteer Maryland Coordinators with resources so that they can build sustainable volunteer programs. While I love the position that I am in, the reality is that it is one year of service; a year that is quickly passing. My initial thought attending the Sunday Supper was “wow, this will be a great opportunity to network!” With that thought in mind, I prepared myself mentally to step outside of my comfort zone and focus on meeting people and speaking to others.
As it turned out, the event that transpired was no actual event at all, but an experience. It was an experience that allowed me to tap into deeper regions of myself and ask: “What are you taking away from this?” I entered the venue with the hopes that I would take away the contact information and business cards of individuals in the private sector that would instantly love me and direct me to potential jobs, internships, and professional development opportunities. However, when I left the venue, I actually took with me a sense of solidarity with other service-minded people. For someone like me who has hopes of one day owning a business and starting a nonprofit organization, it was inspirational to be able to participate in an experience in which service was at the center of the conversation.
If you missed it….
Moderated by: Juan Williams
Some of Topics discussed: service as an instigator of change in school system disparity gaps, engaging in empathy, the economics of service and the service sector vs. the economics of philanthropy, the concept of taking time to give of yourself, the establishment of a common language in which to discuss the issues related to service, listening and communication as steps to action, the media’s role in communicating the good that occurs in society, modern culture of fear, the need to foster a more collective society gathered around human needs rather than “my” needs