Iwake up everyday determined to both change the world and have a good time. Sometimes that can be difficult: getting up at the crack of dawn (and I am not a morning person, but when else can I do Pilates?); laying my clothes out the night before (otherwise, I’d wear black everyday); putting lipstick on in the car; arriving at the office and beginning to sort through emails and voicemails. Then, there comes a big meeting in the conference room, afterwards I am off to a board meeting - thank goodness lunch is served, because there’s no time to stop and energy is needed to get through the day. Appointments all afternoon. Two fundraising events on the calendar for the evening so I split my time - cocktails at one, dinner at the other. Then home to catch the evening news, hopefully. I’m not complaining though, as I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to do things every day to change the world and make it a slightly better place. It’s amazing how much time can be found when none seems to exist, if you are doing something you really care about. (However, I’d give my life for a peep-toe stiletto I could wear all day!)
I have always felt that you should never forget where you come from and how you got to where you are today. One should always give back - not just by writing a check but by giving the most valuable asset you possess, your time and energy. I know the personal value of service as a volunteer. I have tried to give what I can to the causes that I hold close to my heart. I am proud to serve on the boards of the Broward Partnership for the Homeless - committed to reducing homelessness by promoting independence and self worth through comprehensive services; The Young at Art Children’s Museum - shaping young minds and awakening creativity with fun and exciting hands - on cultural, educational and arts experiences; Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) - a major league baseball program providing disadvantaged kids ages 13-18 an opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of baseball. But, more importantly, providing a positive, team-oriented activity that keeps them off the streets and teaches them that being a success in life takes more than succeeding on the ballfield - it also means succeeding in the classroom and in the community.
And of course the Sun Sentinel Childrens Fund. I’ve been involved in the fund for quite some time. It’s part of my job. It’s also personal. My family feels lucky to be able to contribute each year.
We are so fortunate in this community to have a tremendous amount of folks who volunteer and those who want to but aren’t quite sure where to begin. So we came up with the idea for the “Volunteer Guide” - a listing of the area’s non-profit organizations in need of help and information on how to get involved.
You’ll also see in this issue of Society Scene a few of the remarkable men and women who, through their exemplary volunteering and outstanding contributions, are making a difference in our world. They explain in their own words the causes that speak to them. While the charities are as different as the people themselves, the challenge is clear - to discover what compels you to care and join them in adding a sweetness to the day and a smile to someone’s heart.
I’m very proud of the Society Scene Volunteer Guide and look forward to watching it grow every year. The guide wouldn’t be possible without the help of all of our fabulous nonprofit organizations! Thank you for supporting this issue by contributing content and advertising, taking part in the cover shoot and sharing photos. You all came together in a way that truly shows how much you are the fabric of our community
To me, volunteering is like finding the perfect dress - sometimes you have to try on a few causes for size, maybe even take a walk around to see if it’s a perfect fit, but in the end, it looks fabulous on you and feels like a second skin. People often ask me what is the “best” cause to align themselves with. Look for something that has personal meaning. Focus your energy in one direction. Identify your passion. It’s only by bringing your real passion to something, that you can be your best. I see a lot of people really wanting to do positive things in the world. So about those questions - isn’t it great when some of the answers don’t matter at all - like beer or wine. It’s all good, just pick one. It’s your attitude that matters most. You can’t save th world by yourself. But if each of us takes action, imagine the impact!
SOCIETY SCENE Publisher Stacy Ostrau