VOLUNTEER: One who chooses freely to do something, as serving or volunteering, to offer or give of one's own free will.
– From Webster's New World College Dictionary
Our ASHI organization is made up of volunteers, serving in chapters and on committees, not to mention the Board of Directors. Without volunteers giving of their time and expertise, our society would not exist.
Chapters need volunteers to keep them viable and growing, and these volunteers are our future leaders. Chapter presidents and other officers need members to volunteer to have productive meetings. Chapter member participation is essential to the success of the chapter.
In addition, council representatives are responsible for keeping chapter members informed of what is going on at the national level and also for getting the pulse of chapter member expectations and relaying them to the Council of Representatives Speaker. The council rep needs to put in many hours of volunteer time to fulfill the duties of the position. This is an opportunity for the rep to get involved in either a group leader's role or maybe even as a director on ASHI's Board.
Chapter presidents and other officers are responsible for conducting regular meetings with enough information that will be useful to the members. Educational programs are one way a chapter can help members keep up with their continuing education requirements. When a member cannot afford the national educational conference, the chapter's role in providing education to the member is vital.
ASHI's national committees have similar responsibilities, providing useful information to the members at large, whether or not they belong to a chapter. (Personally, I believe all ASHI members should belong to a chapter, but I realize that, in some cases, there may be extenuating circumstances that make it impossible for members to join one.) The chairs of the national committees have to recruit volunteers to work on achieving ASHI's goals; these members donate their time to creating ideas that achieve the Board's directives for the benefit of the membership.
The Board of Directors is responsible for providing direction for the Society so that we can prosper in membership and programs that benefit the membership, plus having a "duty of care" to have financially sound policies so ASHI remains viable for the future.
So, if you have the time to volunteer for a committee or as a leader in your chapter or to become an ASHI Director, a council rep, group leader, council speaker or chapter officer, you will help keep the society going forward. Because we, ASHI, cannot move forward without your help. So, volunteer and keep us where we should be, at the top of our profession.