Monday, April 5, 2010

Katrina @ 5

Interesting article today which I linked to through Philanthropy News Digest (thanks, Mom!!) A recent conference in New Orleans of nonprofits and foundations gathered to assess the progress of various projects and also to open discussions on the future of volunteerism geared specifically towards city restoration.

It was interesting to be a part of what I would consider to be a "movement" of good faith efforts to give back to the city of New Orleans. I've yet to find a statistical analysis on the numbers of volunteers that have traveled to the city post-Katrina but, through general assessment, I have come to a very scientific and mathematical conclusive number: a lot.

Putting all of these volunteers up has been one of the biggest challenges. (And, of course, it's also one of the reasons why not so many people are jetting off to Haiti to start helping pick through the rubble. There simply aren't funds to give volunteers safe, healthy accommodations.) In general, though, it seems that nonprofits are dedicated to continue procurement of funds for this very reason. As long as there is work to be done, and there certainly is, the belief is that someone, somewhere, wants to do it and that someone else, somewhere, wants to pay for it.

Keeping the realization of need alive is another monster to be fed. It helped that the Saints won the Superbowl. It really did. Keep New Orleans on the map, keep the discussion alive.

In my selfish quest for betterment of my own life, I can't help but feel that there might be a market here for me. Part of the presentation I'll be assisting with in a few weeks will be to explain the dire need for programs like the one I was lucky enough to attend, but that's only a drop in the bucket.

True, this blog has shifted from "Gossipy Quarter-Life Crisis Glitterati" to all Katrina/New Orleans/allthetime, and it's been a fantastic little soap box from which to preach about our experiences. What the future is has yet to be revealed.

Wonder, ask and imagine. Be curious, inquisitive and interested.

The best possibilities won't usually shout out to announce themselves. Yet those valuable possibilities can be quickly uncovered with a little curious digging.

Ask yourself why, and ask yourself why not. Think about what is, and then wonder about what if.

In life's joys, in the problems, in the pleasures and in the disappointments, there are the seeds of innovation and progress. Take the time to look and to wonder, and you'll see great new value that's waiting to be created.

In even the most tedious situations, there are fascinating details. And in those details reside countless opportunities.

Find something truly fascinating about where you are. And you'll find a new, effective pathway to wherever you wish to go.

- Ralph Marston

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