you want to support the image of the sport of offroading
in your own community? Not sure how to get started?
Not sure what the goals should be? Well read on.
going to detail one idea, which, hopefully, will get
other ideas flowing for you. This idea is not new,
but it was new to our area. It came out one night
at a club meeting, like this...
was running for club president and part of my platform
was that we should be more helpful in the community.
Some agreed, some didn't, but we really hadn't hashed
out any "what should we dos" at this point,
so most were just waiting to hear ideas.
reasoned that with us supporting the community, and
a partner or two in the community, we'd stand a better
chance of being heard if/when land-use issues really
become a problem.
publicity is usually a good thing, so I knew we wanted
local radio & TV coverage if/when possible for
what to do?
of local groups run fundraisers for local charities
and donate money each year in the name of their group.
Great, they get a letter of thanks and the charity
gets support. Absolutely nothing wrong with this scenerio.
I wanted more exposure than a letter of thanks could
offer for our club. I wanted local TV phoning to ask
why were were doing what we do.
short, I wanted us to be "caught in the act of
doing good" for our community. In a time and
place where folks couldn't help but notice us.
I mentioned this idea was not new, just new to our
area. I first read about a group in Colorado doing
this back when I was about 14. It's been with me ever
since as a great way to support your community when
your community needs it most.
it glamorous? Hell no.
it fun? For some it is, for me it's more of a
it rewarding? Hell YES.
we been featured on TV, in the papers, in magazines
and on the radio? Um, yes, multiple times and
some of the news reports aired Nationally.
our group of volunteers been formally recognized
by our local Legislative Assembly? Yes again.
we recieved dozens of calls from local groups asking
for our help?
now calling this whole thing a success and gearing
up for a second year of work.
know, I still haven't told you what it is we're doing.
Well, here you go:
called SWAT - the Severe
Weather Assistance Team. We are a registered non-profit
with the following mission statement:
Severe Weather Assistance Team (SWAT Group) will assist
local, municipal or provincial agencies or groups
in need of transportation assistance for their essential
personnel or supplies during times of inclement weather,
during states of emergency or in remote locations
where our equipment & training allow safe passage.
SWAT Group is a non-profit organization formed to
meet a need and help our community.
first step was to sit with members of the local Jeep
Scotia Jeep Club, of which I'm a member). When
we figured out we had about 40 volunteers, we approached
local health authority (they run the local hospitals)
and offered to help them with transport needs during
the worst weather. They were extremely happy to have
shorten the whole story up some, we moved over 600
doctors and nurses for them during 4 major storms.
We can, and have, run for over 24 hours straight.
We only move staff, no one else.
takes a tremendous amount of work and a great group
of volunteers to pull this off. The number one
consideration is safety for the folks being transported.
if your community partner trusts you, things will
move along nicely.
is a pretty simple concept, which anyone can get started.
It's also a greast way to help your community directly
in times of need AND gain very public notice for your
tell anyone, though, but it's kinda fun to be out
driving around during the storms, too...LOL