All across North Texas and the nation, people are beginning 2015 with an assessment of the previous year and a list of resolutions to make this year a better year. Personally, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions as they seem to be a recipe for failures. However I understand the desire of many to make a road map for self-improvement. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
As we look for ways to make our lives better and make an impact on the community around us, I encourage you to consider volunteering your time and talent. We have many non-profit organizations in our area and the one non-profit that has been a long-time supporter of the city is the Highland Village Lions Club.
When you think of the annual Hot Air Balloon festival, you should think of the Highland Village Lions Club. For 28 years the HVLC has made the Hot Air Balloon Festival happen in Highland Village and it is serves as their fundraiser to support the work they do in vision and hearing screenings for the youth of our community. Dianne Ashmore recently shared information about the Lions Club and the state of non-profits in our community going into 2015.
What challenges and opportunities do you anticipate for nonprofit organizations in 2015?
Raising funds is always a challenge as there are more non-profits that serve portions of our city and therefore more competition for the same dollars or fewer dollars to distribute. Non-profits are often not able to utilize the latest technology to tell their story and market the work they are doing to the public. This can make it difficult to attract members to join and volunteers to work for the organization.
What are the biggest needs for nonprofit groups going into the new year?
-Reaching into community to assure services offered get to segments of targeted population.
-Making sure every cent spent COUNTS and the group’s services are benefiting the areas of the community with the most need.
-Increasing awareness and participation in volunteer organizations as well as finding and keeping good people to work in non-profits. There are so many demands on time of all people and younger adults (ages 25-45) in particular.
How do you think life will be better (or worse) in the community in 2015?
Highland Village is blessed to have good quality of life and it should continue to improve as we have good city leadership in place. Our community helps each other and those around us which is evident in the good supply of non-profit organizations in our area.
What are some of the plans the Highland Village Lions Club (HVLC Foundation) has for 2015?
We hope to grow club membership to at least 1/2 again our current size with active members. The Vision and Hearing Screening Program has grown and we plan to receive state certification for more of our team, field a second team of screeners by beginning of the 2015-16 school year, reach into Highland Village elementary schools to offer screening to kindergarten age children, develop a strong presence in all areas of social media to reach a larger portion of the population and create greater awareness in communities we serve, continue our great relationship with both the city and all schools we currently serve and finally, develop and grow a second stream of income to assist with these goals.
What are some ways community members can get involved in Highland Village Lions Club this year?
We invite people to join the club as a member. We meet the first and third Saturday of month at 9 a.m. at The Robert & Lee Duvall Center in Highland Village. We always welcome volunteers to assist with our vision/hearing screening program. Our annual fundraiser, the Highland Village Lions Hot Air Balloon Festival is always in need of volunteers, sponsors and donors. The Festival will take place this year on August 14-16, 2015. And of course if time is an issue, there is the opportunity to become a donor for our “Vision for the Future” screening program.
The Highland Village Lions Club has been a part of our city for 28 years in March 2015. An amazing amount of work has been accomplished by this group of approximately 30-plus committed individuals. The HVLC Hot Air Balloon Festival alone has brought considerably positive recognition to our city. We are grateful for the work the Lions Club and all the local non-profits do for our community. If you have the opportunity to give your time to others, consider investing yourself into a service organization. You and the non-profit will be the better for it.