Janine Wedemeyer has been described as the kind of woman who can get 25 strangers in a room talking and laughing as if they were old friends within 5minutes. Wedemeyer’s engaging personality and her desire to volunteer fueled the fire for her to create the Hawaii Society of Volunteers.
“Having been a member of many organizations, I just wanted something more from volunteering,” explains Wedemeyer. “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was an organization where a busy person can have the opportunity to participate when they have time? Not every one can volunteer every week.”
Wedemeyer, an event planner by trade - and owner of her own company, Envision Event Planning & Management - made things happen and she created her own volunteer group.
“The focus is to give one-time help to small organizations,” Wedemeyer says. “We give the volunteers the chance to experience different projects.”
The board chooses which organization will get help. At the Hawaii Society of Volunteers monthly meeting, a representative from the chosen organization presents an overview of what the organization does, and what the volunteers will to do the following month.
One project the volunteers helped with was Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii’s Teddy Bear Roundup. They counted 8,000 stuffed animals that were collected, and separated the bears for distribution.
“I’ve gotten a great response so far,” the Radford grad says, noting that the society already has 40 members. “At each meeting we have about four or five guests, and nearly everyone joins. We’ve grown so much from the start. Someone once told me it is easy to get money but it is hard to get manpower.”
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