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April 2016
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Calling all Do-Gooders

by Chris Askin
President and CEO
Community Foundation of Western Nevada

Chris Askin
Chris Askin

I'm optimistic about the future of our country. I say this with good reason because I have the privilege of working with amazing young people who work hard to make our future bright.

Two, in particular, are Nick Tscheekar and Camille Glanzmann, who work with me at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. Nick is now employed by the Community Foundation but last year he was an Americorps Vista volunteer. This year, Camille has joined us as a Vista Volunteer. These two outstanding young people, both smart, ambitious college graduates, dedicate a year of their lives in service to our country. They have been working hard on You'N-I, the Community Foundation Youth Network Initiative that is aimed at improving the lives of youth who are experiencing homelessness. Through their efforts, tangible action been taken in the areas of information, awareness, and services. This success motivated a growing segment of the Reno-Sparks population to step up and make even the most difficult of improvements for this group, such as housing, possible in the future.

Camille Glanzmann
Camille Glanzmann
Nick Tscheekar
Nick Tscheekar

They are two inspiring Do-Gooders. By that, I mean that Nick and Camille didn't wait for trouble to find them… they went looking for it. They understand that suffering is out there in the world, and in our community, and they are living their lives in a way that will help alleviate that suffering. Nick and Camille are rare examples. Fortunately for all of us, a growing number of Millennials feel this way. For these young people, it doesn't take a photograph of a drowned toddler off the coast of Greece to move them to helpful action; they are moved by what they see every day in our community.

The Community Foundation volunteers and donors are Do-Gooders who may cause me to wear rose colored glasses. Even so, my vision is clear about the needs of the region, which are vast and complicated. The Community Foundation office together to tackle these issues, and many of those efforts are aimed at supporting and lifting up the next generation of leaders.

As I see so many young people working hard to make their lives, our community, and our world a better place, I am inspired. And, many young people could use our help. At the Community Foundation, we are acutely aware of the youngest citizen's needs, and how we can all help. Organizations that serve youth in poverty need contributions, volunteers, and mentors. Hundreds of children and youth in our community right now are on waiting lists for mentors. If you would like to help, please give the Community Foundation a call 775-333-5499. Be a Do–Gooder. It is a great calling.

A thought provoking book by Larissa MacFarquhar titled, Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help outlines the struggle Do- Gooders face. Do-Gooders may live less materially comfortable lives than most of us, but the lack of material comfort is more than made up for with the sense of purpose in their lives. They believe that they are living as they ought to live. And that's an extraordinary feeling that very few people have.

At the Community Foundation, we can help you find that extraordinary feeling of fulfilled purpose. One of the reasons I wanted to work at a charitable organization was that I was seeking that purpose, and I've never regretted that decision. As a nonprofit organization, we can only accomplish as much as is made possible by you and your friends who contribute to the health of our community.

If you'd like to do even more good, please give us a call. When you meet our staff, get connected in a way that is meaningful to you, and see all of the positive things happening, you may feel as optimistic as I do. The Community Foundation is here to help you care, connect, and engage. Contact the Community Foundation of Western Nevada if you want to join us in our work - building community.