A day in the life of a G.A.L.A. volunteer is joyfully satisfying, rewards with a gratifying sense of accomplishment and self-discovery, and can often be challenging. While volunteers enthusiastically contribute their skills to G.A.L.A.’s goal of building sustainable, resilient communities, they typically come away from their projects unexpectedly enriched by new learning experiences and new friends – indeed, you can usually count on the unexpected from a GALAvant (a G.A.L.A. project or outing). Just ask Michael Haeger from Tuftonboro, NH who has volunteered with G.A.L.A. for the past two years.
Michael and his family originally connected with G.A.L.A. during the 2010 Earth Week festivities in Wolfeboro and were inspired to become a part of the “Menu for the Future” study circle participating in dialogue about sustainable and local food systems. Continuing along that theme, the Haegers joined G.A.L.A.’s annual presence at First Night Wolfeboro, helping with the chili and chowder sales. It soon became evident to both Michael and G.A.L.A.’s director Josh Arnold, that his eclectic mix of skills and passions, strong sense of commitment and keen Yankee sense of creative thrift could nurture many a G.A.L.A. seed. And indeed, both the organization and Michael have blossomed from his leadership roles in organizing the winter contra dance series; converting G.A.L.A.’s truck to biodiesel; coordinating the recycling team at various events; providing professional guidance with the Solar Raiser and Sustain-A-Raiser projects, and becoming an invaluable voice of reason on the Board of Directors. “You never know what you might see Michael doing at a GALAvant, says Josh Arnold, he may be playing the fiddle, gracefully cutting a rug on the contra dance floor, ingeniously creating some make-shift part for the latest emergency, perching precariously up on a roof installing solar panels, tending his worm farm or contributing to the strategic plan. We are blessed to have Michael’s gifts at G.A.L.A. and his generosity in sharing his own first-hand knowledge about sustainable living.”
It is in recognition of his unwavering dedication to sustainable community building that Michael Haeger has been awarded G.A.L.A.’S Volunteer of the Year Award for 2011. Michael was officially honored at the third annual Farm to Table Feast before a capacity crowd of 125 G.A.L.A. supporters at the Barn at Moody Mountain Farm.
Global Awareness Local Action is a registered 501 C 3 non-profit organization located in the Ossipee Mountain Grange Hall in Water Village, NH, whose mission is to establish a contagious community building model that translates sustainability education into local action that is practical, effective, and fun. For more information and details on how to volunteer check online at www.galacommunity.org or call Josh or Carol at 603-539-6440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .