Why Volunteer Here?

By Doug Davis

The Great State of Tennessee (in which I happened to originate) is known as the Volunteer State because more men from that State volunteered for both sides than from any other area during the Civil War.  Why would anyone decide to give of themselves, and in many cases their life, for such a cause?  The basic answers are rooted in loyalty, passion, and a feeling of participation.  The same can be said of Smith-Gilbert except that we want people to place their hearts on the line, but not their lives!

Thus, volunteerism is usually associated with a sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment for the persons donating their time and talents.  Once the experience becomes mundane, overly political, or without opportunities for learning, then volunteers tend to lose interest.

So what are the attractions of Smith-Gilbert Gardens for volunteerism?  How about a fun-loving, warm staff?  Couple that aspect with possibilities in Plant Propagation, House Assistants, Docents (Tour Guides), wide-ranging Garden maintenance activities, Bonsai Culture, the Rose Warriors (with all those thorns, this group has to be both loving and fierce!), our new Gather ‘n’ Grow Vegetable Garden, Children’s Programs, Special Events (particularly weddings for all you romantics), etc.  Oh, and a fun-loving, warm staff.  The list just goes on and on.  With our unique blend of history, horticulture, and sculpture, there are as many diverse avenues of interests as seeds in a sunflower head!

Contact Jim Parks at jparks@smithgilbertgardens.com for further information on basic training and learn how to use a shovel, computer, or pruners.  Free pecans (in the shell and on the ground) to the first 3,750 signees.

P.S.  Something is going well here . . . in 2010, we had 2,322 total volunteer hours; in fiscal 2011 that number increased by almost 24% to 2,869.  Must be the fun-loving, warm staff!