Teach the people

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people. ~ Confucius


One of the greatest challenges of any organization whose bottom line is social good, is ensuring that the work will be carried on by the next generation. The 2012 Millennial Impact Study has good news about this next generation, and also outlines the challenges. Like: 63% of Millennials surveyed volunteered for a nonprofit in 2011; 41% said they planned to do more in the next year; but 58% said they preferred a short-term volunteer commitment. (Sigh.)


At Homeward Bound, we blessed to have many dedicated teen and young adult volunteers, but we also recognize the need to do more than just plant seeds.


We need to engage and “teach the people” so, someday, they will be ready to take the lead.


I know many of you are involved in other good works, or are young yourselves. So, for the sake of the dogs, please share. What motivates you, or the young adults at your organization?


We are all ears. And thank you.


Our Village

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

A plane buzzed to signal a special event today at Homeward Bound – the annual Volunteer Picnic. This is the one time during the year when all volunteers come together to an afternoon of appreciation, and connection.

And of course – they were accompanied by their honored guests: the Goldens; almost all of them (like Libby and Jasmine below) rescued from Homeward Bound.

The saying goes, “it takes a village” – and that couldn’t be more evident than today’s gathering. In this all-volunteer organization, each person contributes their unique talents putting in long hours, at, and away from, the ranch. Many times, their paths do not cross except at a couple of events each year. There are transporters, feeders, walkers, groomers, trainers, placement experts, foster families, community representatives and more in addition to the volunteer staff.

They are the lifeblood of the organization, and the reason why Homeward Bound is able to take dogs that other shelters find challenging to place, and create miracle, happily-ever-afters for hundreds of dogs each year.

In all the hubbub, we did still manage to get some gardening in. It is, after all, prime fall planting season, and both Ina and Maria are expanding beds in the Memorial Garden.

Ina plans a California natives garden to frame the garden’s entry. We spent about six hours pick-axing old roots, uncovering archeological treasure,

gigantic weeds,

and laying the groundwork for her next amazing creation.

Having just doubled the size of the Herb Garden,

Maria is now planning to convert the Container Garden into a Fragrant Garden.

By next spring, St. Francis will be surrounded by the smells of orange blossoms, star jasmine, rosemary, lavender, thyme and gardenias.

So many plans – so little time. Hope to see you in the Garden.