Today I took 1/2 day off work to help out a fellow Toastmaster with a Speechcraft class. I was happy to see that many other Toastmasters volunteered to help as well.
A fellow Toastmaster asked me to give the opening remarks at an 8-week Toastmasters seminar he is hosting for Portland State University employees. It was a small sacrifice to help him by burning a little vacation time. I was joined by at least eight other volunteers. Like all Toastmasters events, it was a group effort. And by my estimation, the seminar is off to a rousing start.
As that event was winding down, I got a call from another Toastmaster who was off to help judge a contest in one of the state correctional institutes. My friend was excited to help out, and visit a prison club. A lot of prisoners work hard to improve themselves when they are behind bars. I am told that having community members like my friend there to help them really brightens the prisoners’ days.
Everything Toastmasters does is volunteer driven, from the International President to the club officer. All members have individual goals and aspirations. But by pooling their talents, they create something special. In this case, a safe and supportive environment for practicing communication skills. And they pool their talents regardless of ethnicity, politics, religion, or race.
I’m always impressed when people of an organization like Toastmasters can put aside divisive issues in order to help out community members.
It is what makes our communities strong.