Paying tribute to our Valued Volunteers - Rosa
In January of this year, seemingly out of the blue, I received a call from my friend Rosa. Rosa was the first stranger I ever spoke to about my vision for ReadyStepGrow – long before there was a name. Her enthusiasm was immediate. And it was just the encouragement I needed. The momentum had begun.
At the time of this call, little did I know, the previous year, Rosa had been waiting and willing ReadyStepGrow to secure charity status. Once we did she was ON! And she called to say, "I want to help. I've got six months and I want to do as much as I possibly can to see that ReadyStepGrow succeeds." She was not joking. True to her word, in six months, she gave ReadyStepGrow her all.
Rosa was fast. Late January she embraced drop box even though her first response had been 'what box?' She was not only fast. She was steadfast. She eagerly prepared two grant applications and for two whole weeks, after her own young children were in bed, she burned the midnight hours to make the deadlines in February.
In March, she enthusiastically donned an apron for our first minor fundraiser – a Bunning's BBQ. Rosa supplied the ALL important, morale boosting coffees and hot cross buns to kick off this wonderful team-building event. Appreciated! As were her efforts serving sausages for the next three hours.
But in April, we really saw Rosa hit her straps. Quite simply, money was needed to sustain the charitable services of ReadyStepGrow. Rosa's background in finance meant she could confidently create a plan to succeed. A major fundraiser would be the only way and the date was set for May. The week before Mother's Day our first fancy fundraiser would be - a High Tea!
Rosa secured a venue, set up the booking system, sourced scented candles, made invitations and guided the RSG team in how we could gain support and engage sponsors. Board members booked whole tables and sourced donations from generous sponsors far and wide. It was a whirlwind of activity and anticipation as we waited to see the response of a larger group to our little organisation's achievements so far. But the most generous sponsor of all was Rosa herself.
Determined to mark this High Tea with something yummy for our guests (and in the famous way Italians do) she turned her kitchen into an urban lemon butter factory – the produce (130 jars) was exquisite, as any guest from the day can say. This brings us to June.
How time flies when you are having fun! It is with a sigh, our six months with Rosa is done. Throughout her time with ReadyStepGrow, she brought great energy to our organisation. She helped raise much needed funds to continue the work we do, she has networked our message to raise awareness and this has helped raise our profile, she pulled off our first major fundraising event AND this has attracted two more valued volunteers (more about them later)!
In the most heartfelt way, Rosa gifted ReadyStepGrow so much and now it is time to say thank you. Thank you Rosa for the leverage you have provided ReadyStepGrow. Thank you for believing we will go onwards and upwards from here. And finally, thank you for being my friend so dear.