By: Eric Greisdorf, 2018 Generation SERVE Board President
It is hard to believe that 2018 is upon us. After an incredible year of growth, change, and service to our community, I am honored and a bit humbled to be the new Board Chair of Generation SERVE. Before I introduce myself and my goals for this year, I wanted to highlight just a few of Generation SERVE’s incredible accomplishments from the past year:
Our annual Growing Up Giving Luncheon brought in over 300 guests and raised more than $100,000 to support and grow our programs.
We changed our name to Generation SERVE to better describe our mission, our programs, and our impact. We also continued to expand our reach to allow children of all ages to serve our community.
Our incredible staff grew to now include a full-time Development Director and full-time Program Manager.
Together, with the help of over 6,000 children and 3,000 families, Generation SERVE coordinated and led 1,090 service activities and completed over 15,000 volunteer hours for more than 90 non-profit organizations.
Wow, what a spectacular year!
Reflecting back, I can’t help but be reminded of my family’s long journey with Little Helping Hands and now Generation SERVE. My family started doing volunteer projects when my kids were just six and eight years old. We cooked food for the elderly, served groceries to those in need, planted gardens, and sorted food items for delivery. Over the years, my wife and I began to see that for our kids, these activities became less about doing good for an afternoon, and more about truly serving our community and world. Today, eight years later, my 16-year-old son Aaron is part of the Teen Advisory Board, my 14-year-old daughter Sami participates regularly in many volunteer programs throughout the year, and I have taken on the role of Board Chair with this amazing organization.
There is no question that Generation SERVE makes a huge difference for children, families, and the entire community. This is thanks to the tireless work, vision, and dedication of our Founder and Executive Director, Marissa Vogel. As many of you already know, Marissa has made the difficult decision to step down this year. While her leadership will be greatly missed, her legacy will remain strong, as we continue the pursuit of teaching children about empathy, compassion, hard work, community, and leadership.
This year, I have been provided with the wonderful opportunity to honor Marissa by serving this great organization in the role of Board Chair. As part of my responsibilities, I have laid out three goals for myself and the Board. First and most importantly, the entire Board is 100% dedicated to finding the next great leader of Generation SERVE who will help us reach new heights while maintaining the passion and organizational culture that has allowed us to be so successful for the last nine years. Next, I have challenged the Board and staff to focus on creative ways to meet the incredible community demand for family volunteer opportunities. We are dedicated to inspiring a generation of children to learn to love service and we are lucky to live in a community where families value this as well. So we must do all we can to provide enough opportunities to make our vision a reality. Finally, I have urged everyone to ‘Think Big’ this year. With my ambitious goal of becoming a $1 million nonprofit organization by 2020, I am pushing us all to think, to act, and to dream bigger, and to imagine the possibilities of what we can accomplish for this organization and this community if we reach this milestone.
Of course, none of these goals can be realized without you and your feedback, input, and support. I am hoping you will help us Think Big in 2018. Please feel free to connect with me, to share your big (or small) ideas, and to express your comments or concerns. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for being a part of something so special.
Eric Greisdorf (left) with wife, Lisa, and children, Sami and Aaron.
Eric's son, Aaron, at Generation SERVE's inaugural Teen Advisory Board (TAB) meeting in 2016.
Aaron Greisdorf (left) at TAB's Back to School Bash in August, 2017.
Eric Greisdorf (center) with children, Sami and Aaron.
Aaron (left) with some of Generation SERVE's 2018 TAB members in January, 2018.